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jamesabrown
2011-Jul-06, 12:40 PM
Well, I saw this disappointment of a movie last night, and I couldn't help notice the Bad Astronomy therein.

There's a lot of intermingling of 'galaxy' with 'universe.' The Green Lantern Corps are the guardians of the galaxy, but the entire universe is at threat. Or maybe it's the other way around. There's also plenty of faster-than-light travel as Hal Jordan is whisked from Earth to a planet called Oa, where the aliens from the Star Trek pilot hang out and frown at each other. This travel times takes about three minutes.

At the end, Jordan fights the villain in the streets of Los Angeles, then the battle takes to outer space. The two antagonists face off in Low Earth orbit, Jordan flies away a little bit . . . and there's the asteroid belt. Like George Lucas' creations, this asteroid belt is so dense with debris that you can't see throughg it, and Jordan has to jink and weave to fly through it or he'll get crushed.

So after a bit more of the two combatants throwing asteroids at each other, Jordan flies away a little bit, turns around . . . and there's the Sun, larger than it would appear if you were standing on the surface of Mercury. I won't bother describing more plot details, but dang, this solar system of ours is a small and crowded place. Why in the world does it take years for NASA to launch a probe anywhere?

SkepticJ
2011-Jul-06, 04:39 PM
I think you confused it.

Hal is the Lantern of the region which includes the Milky Way. All the others you see in the film are the Lanterns of their own respective regions, covering the entire universe.

The rest of it: you do know its a comic book movie, right? They're capable of traveling at ridiculous multiples of the speed of light.

I was actually impressed with a couple of science bits seasoned into the film: the mention of convergent evolution, and the lecture in the science class about archaea. Clearly the movie's writers were familiar with fairly recent real-world science.

JustAFriend
2011-Jul-07, 02:18 AM
Cant directly quote the line, but they did say each Lantern patrolled a sector containing numerous galaxies.
And that would make any bopping around in our own System rather instantaneous.

(its a comic book, dont try to rationalize it for accuracy....)

The Backroad Astronomer
2011-Jul-07, 11:39 AM
In comic books such errors is all right but last night on jeopardy they mixed up galaxy with solar system.

Glom
2011-Jul-08, 06:36 AM
I remember a number of shots of a sunlit Earth with no stars in the background. Good science there.

The film was nothing impressive, but because I didn't expect much going in, I thought it was okay. I appreciated how not overdone it was, particularly the climactic battle.

mike alexander
2011-Jul-08, 06:16 PM
I enjoyed it quite a bit; but then, GL is a favorite from my youth. After Doctor Seuss, I wouldn't be surprised to discover the Green Lantern Oath was the first poem I ever memorized.

It was much more 'comic book' than most recent super-duper movies, and infinitely better than Spider-Man. Pass the popcorn while I put in my dentures.

ravens_cry
2011-Jul-09, 10:26 AM
In comic books such errors is all right but last night on jeopardy they mixed up galaxy with solar system.
Whoa. That, that's bad. At one time we thought the Milky Way was the universe and other galaxies were nebula of some sort. This, while wrong, was at least one time considered right. But this, I am pretty sure the solar system being a galaxy was never 'right'.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Jul-09, 10:31 AM
Whoa. That, that's bad. At one time we thought the Milky Way was the universe and other galaxies were nebula of some sort. This, while wrong, was at least one time considered right. But this, I am pretty sure the solar system being a galaxy was never 'right'.

Very common in cheap fiction, though.

ravens_cry
2011-Jul-09, 12:11 PM
Very common in cheap fiction, though.
Really? Huh. I've seen a lot of fiction where travel times are the same or similar between practically anywhere in the galaxy and in-system, but I don't think I have encountered any where the solar system was the same thing as the galaxy. That being said, I try to avoid "cheap" science fiction on principle.

eburacum45
2011-Jul-09, 03:05 PM
Early Doctor Who scripts often seemed to mix up the terms 'solar system' and 'galaxy'; I'm sure it is a common error among the general public.

To be needlessly pedantic there is really only one Solar System, our own, and all the others are 'planetary systems';
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_system
but many people use 'solar system' to refer to any family of planets orbiting a star or stars.

Van Rijn
2011-Jul-09, 07:20 PM
It came up a lot in '50s B movies, less so in the '60s and '70s TV and movies, but it would happen. For instance, The Invaders were from another galaxy (which always made me wonder how they managed to find our sun). The original Battlestar Galactica was constantly going from one galaxy to another too.

My guess is that they thought "another galaxy" sounded cooler than "another star."

Tobin Dax
2011-Jul-09, 08:39 PM
Early Doctor Who scripts often seemed to mix up the terms 'solar system' and 'galaxy'; I'm sure it is a common error among the general public.

In my experience, it's quite common. Even after they should know better.

Paul Beardsley
2011-Jul-09, 08:54 PM
Yes, solar system, galaxy and universe.

I recall a Space: 1999 episode where "universe" was really quite low in the hierarchy.

NEOWatcher
2011-Jul-11, 01:21 PM
I recall a Space: 1999 episode where "universe" was really quite low in the hierarchy.
"This is Triton's galaxy. This is Triton's star system. This is Triton's universe. This is Triton's sun."

Paul Beardsley
2011-Jul-11, 04:21 PM
"This is Triton's galaxy. This is Triton's star system. This is Triton's universe. This is Triton's sun."

Yes, that was the one! I think I was about 15 when I saw it on its first broadcast in the UK. My brain nearly exploded.

Noclevername
2011-Jul-12, 01:14 AM
There's also plenty of faster-than-light travel as Hal Jordan is whisked from Earth to a planet called Oa, where the aliens from the Star Trek pilot hang out and frown at each other. This travel times takes about three minutes.


So you're OK with a magic ring that makes anything you think of out of willpower, but FTL, which is in practically every SF movie set in space, gets to you?

jamesabrown
2011-Jul-12, 02:35 PM
So you're OK with a magic ring that makes anything you think of out of willpower, but FTL, which is in practically every SF movie set in space, gets to you?

EDIT: I misread your post and replied with an irrelevant response.

Chuck
2011-Jul-16, 04:15 PM
Since the sun emits all wavelengths of radiation, wouldn't the yellow component alone fry Green Lantern if he got really close?

SkepticJ
2011-Jul-16, 11:31 PM
It would if the Sun output Fear-energy. It doesn't, though--just EM.

Noclevername
2011-Jul-17, 11:07 PM
It would if the Sun output Fear-energy. It doesn't, though--just EM.

Haven't seen the film, but since the color yellow (not "fear energy") was GL's weakness for the first 40-some years of Hal Jordan's existence, why wouldn't it still be his weakness? (At least it's not wood like the 1940s GL!)

SkepticJ
2011-Jul-18, 01:27 AM
Haven't seen the film, but since the color yellow (not "fear energy") was GL's weakness for the first 40-some years of Hal Jordan's existence, why wouldn't it still be his weakness?

So, as long as someone is wearing yellow clothes, if GL touches them, he reels back in weakness like Superman in proximity to kryptonite?

Can a child punch him out wearing dish gloves?

Arrows painted yellow fly right through his constructions?

Dang, what an easy to defeat superhero he is!


(At least it's not wood like the 1940s GL!)

Wouldn't that complicate reproduction?

Delvo
2011-Jul-20, 02:11 AM
He never had a vulnerability to yellow things. Under some authors, he couldn't control yellow things, but even that wasn't usually the case. Yellow was just a color his enemy wore, like the Joker's green hair and purple suit.

I don't know whether this part was original to the movie or taken from the comics, but in the movie, the Guardians had learned to manifest energy in the real world based on mental/psychic themes. When doing so, some light would be created, like a side effect. Green light came from manifesting "will" or self-determination/confidence. Yellow light came from manifesting fear. Neither is particularly weak or vulnerable or dominant over the other, they just visually show what sort of mentality the person doing the manifesting is using.

(In "Monsters, Inc.", did they show light or some other visual cue to represent the energy being derived from children's fear and laughter, and if so, did the two look different? Or, think of how Harry Potter uses a white glowing effect from positive thoughts to protect himself against dementors, who feed on a victim's pain and loss and fear. That's the kind of treatment I'm talking about.)

Those moods or psychic themes being expressed are central to the movie's plot, although the colors themselves aren't. (They just symbolize it.) For ages, the Green Lanterns had been proud of having no fear, and fearless people or people who had greatly suppressed their fear had been recruited to join the Green Lantern Corps. But when they encountered an enemy using fear energy, they were unprepared to deal with it, so the next time a new Green Lantern was recruited (which only happens when one dies), it had to be somebody who, unlike other Green Lanterns, accepted and embraced his fear. (It reminded me of the movie showing the origins of Batman as played by Christian Bale.)

Delvo
2011-Jul-20, 02:18 AM
BTW, although the movie, like a lot of the comic book run, doesn't do the "can't control yellow" thing, the setup they gave about how the colors are connected to the psychic energy being used does give a way that it could be brought into a sequel: a user of yellow fear energy instead of green confidence energy could sort of encroach on his territory, like the way the Jedi were said in the prequels to be losing their influence on the Force due to the actions of a user of the Dark Side.