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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

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The Moon en Plein Aire

One of the key conclusions in my book is that scientist/filmmaker collaborations work best when the scientists and entertainment professionals clearly respect each other’s expertise. This means that the scientists, in particular, need to keep in mind that they know very little about making movies. This same advice applies to scientifically literate audiences. We need to remember that just as scientists are scientific experts, filmmakers are entertainment experts who make decisions about science based on their specialist knowledge of the way film operates and what makes a film enjoyable.

The Final Frontier

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon.Last Thursday, the space shuttle Atlantis returned to Earth and NASA’s Space Shuttle Program officially closed its doors. A sad day, for sure, but over here at The Exchange, we plan on passing the time between now and private spaceflights by heading to the movies for some fictional space exploration. Except, well, we noticed there are not very many upcoming space exploration films. Is Hollywood finished exploring the “final frontier”?

Hungry, Hungry Universe

This is Supernova 1994D. The supernova is the bright point in the lower-left. It is a type Ia thermonuclear supernova like those described by Howell. The supernova is on the edge of galaxy NGC 4526, depicted in the center of the image. Credit: NASA/Hubble Space TelescopeYou’ve heard of zombie humans and you’ve probably heard of zombie ants… but what about zombie stars? “Zombie stars” are stars that explode like bombs, die and then come back to life by sucking matter out of another star. These stars, known as Type Ia Supernovae, are more than just cool eating machines though.