'Armageddon' anniversary: An astronomer says movie is 'about as scientifically incorrect as one can get'

Raechal ShewfeltEditor, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo Movies

Armageddon, in all its space suit-wearing, Aerosmith-playing glory, landed in movie theaters on July 1, 1998, making it about as old as Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler’s characters were supposed to be in the blockbuster.

And yet, Jackie Faherty, an astronomer at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, tells Yahoo Life that she still gets one question constantly: “Is there an asteroid out there that is gonna hit earth and cause either massive destruction or possibly destroy the planet?”

Thankfully, her answer is probably not, and definitely not the way it happened on screen.

“The movies that exist out there about what could happen — Armageddon being one of the more famous ones — that movie is about as scientifically incorrect as one can get,” Faherty says.

Could the scenario <em>Armageddon</em> happen in real life? (Photo: Everett Collection)
Could the scenario Armageddon happen in real life? (Photo: Everett Collection)

The good news is that astronomers are always on the lookout for this exact scenario.

“There might be a big rock out there with our name on it. If there is, there’s a good chance that we’ll find it, because we’ve got a lot of these really great surveys,” Faherty says. “And there’s people thinking really hard about this, about whether or not we could do something. But because we’re taking this seriously, there’s some cool ideas that people have. Can we deflect it? Could we yank it away from the Earth?”

Sadly, calling in Bruce Willis is not one of the options she presents in the video above.

Armageddon ended up being the highest-grossing film of the year based on world-wide receipts.

— Video produced by Jacquie Cosgrove

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