Don't Look Up: how do you protect yourself from asteroids in reality?

It was one of the cinematic events of this end of the year on Netflix. With Don’t Look Up, the streaming platform shows us a planet Earth under the threat of a comet that could destroy it. It is actually a pretext and a kind of allegory of the risks linked to climate change, which for many turns into denial.

You can read again our review of this fiction which aims quite accurately and does not spare many people. Monica Grady, researcher at The Open University in the United Kingdom, returned in an article in The Conversation to the realism of this feature film in scientific matters.

Beyond the satire, Don’t Look Up is characterized by a certain scientific realism

She thus notes that the movie makes fun of just about everyone but not science. Moreover Amy Mainzer, principal researcher of NASA’s NEOWISE asteroid monitoring program, officiated as an adviser for the production.

From then on the discovery of the comet was made in realistic conditions. The fact that the heroes played by Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio call NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office also makes sense, and that’s what would probably happen in real life.

It’s It’s also possible that a “planet killer” asteroid is coming our way, but it’s very unlikely that it will happen tomorrow. Indeed, as the American space agency indicates on its website, “this happens once every fifty million years”.

And if, however, the danger was indeed there, denial would also not be appropriate as can be seen in Don’t Look Up. The American authorities thus have a plan but the method to deal with the danger “depends on the orbit of the object, its composition, mass properties and relative velocity, as well as the probability of impact and the expected location of impact.”