Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says he’s surprised by all the focus on his criticisms of the science in “Gravity” — and says the film was quite accurate overall.
On Sunday, the director of the Hayden Planetarium released a series of tweets calling out problems with the science in Alfonso Cuaron’s astronaut epic. He wondered why, for example, Sandra Bullock‘s hair didn’t float around during the zero gravity scenes.
But he says it’s a compliment to the film that he critiqued the science of “Gravity” — because it’s a testament to how close to reality the film is.
“What few people recognize is that science experts don’t line up to critique ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ or ‘Man of Steel’ or ‘Transformers’ or ‘The Avengers.’ These films offer no premise of portraying a physical reality,” he wrote on Facebook. “To ‘earn’ the right to be criticized on a scientific level is a high compliment indeed.”
He said that headlines about his criticisms of “Gravity” made him wish he had first listed the “hundred things the movie got right.”
Among them, he said, were “the 90 minute orbital time for objects at that altitude,” “the re-entry trails of disintegrated satellites, hauntingly reminiscent of the Columbia Shuttle tragedy” and George Clooney‘s “calm-under-stress character (I know dozens of astronauts like that).”
In his initial tweets, he said he liked “Gravity,” overall.
“My Tweets hardly ever convey opinion,” he wrote Sunday. “Mostly perspectives on the world. But if you must know, I enjoyed #Gravity very much.”