Why Moonfall Movie is Actual Scientific Garbage

Another Hollywood blockbuster that gets the science completely wrong. Here comes Moonfall.

Moonfall is the much-discussed Movie directed by Roland Emmerich to be released this February 2022. The only way to watch Moonfall right now is in a cinema / movie theatre in the U.S. from February 4th . Look out for a showing at a movie theater near you. After Moonfall has been played on the big screens, you should be able to buy it from digital platforms such as Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube, and Vudu.

What Can You Expect?

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Moonfall, Lionsgate Movies on YouTube

If you want an honest film critic’s opinion you couldn’t get funnier than Carla Hay, who describes Moonfall as a sloppy sci-fi flick that has more holes in the plot than there are craters on the moon. In other-words an idiotic apocalyptic film which is its own kind of disaster and makes a mockery of NASA.

What Real Scientists Think

moonfall linosgate from the director of
Moonfall, Lionsgate Movies on YouTube

Want to know what a real scientist thinks about a film about the Moon falling out of its orbit? Then check out what Dr. Tony Cook, a physics lecturer at Aberystwyth University, says about the science.


He explains currently “There’s an equilibrium between the Earth and the Moon … It’s a balancing point called the barycentre and the two bodies rotate around that.”

Trying to put the science into layman’s terms that the rest of us can understand, Dr. Cook uses the analogy of a see-saw “If you’ve got a really heavy person on one end and a lightweight on the other, the balancing point has to be more towards the bigger person.”

The short answer is that this equilibrium between the Earth and the Moon that keeps everything in balance as we know it is not going to end anytime soon unless something catastrophic with very huge in energy interferes with it.


How Aliens Could Propel the Moon

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Moonfall, Lionsgate Movies on YouTube

While a story plot of the Moon crashing to Earth can safely be kept in the realms of science fiction and entertainment, NASA thinks maybe we should be concerned about a slight moon wobble that will happen around mid 2030s and could contribute to severe flooding. Dr. Cook even explains about that too ‘is part of a natural 18.6-year cycle in the Moon’s orbit – half of which, thanks to fluctuations in the Moon’s gravitational pull, is spent suppressing tides, the other half amplifying them.’

The trailers for Moonfall suggests malicious extra-terrestrials knocking the moon, of course and towards the earth. For most people, this already puts the film in the category of fiction based on fiction, rather than fiction based on any possible reality. Dr Tony Cook is prepared to humour the idea and explains for that to work “If you’re an alien, I think you would need to put some propulsion engines on the lunar surface,”

Scientists have previously considered using propulsion engines as a way to redirect asteroids. Dr Tony Cook agrees it may possible to send the Moon out of orbit and onto the Earth using propulsion engines but it would take a very long period of time and an enormous amount of energy. Also it would have to be done gently to avoid the Moon falling into pieces.


The trailers of Moonfall that show apocalyptical chaos and tsunamis do have some accuracy in so far as predicting what the Moon being nearer could do to the tides. If the Moon was to ever move closer to Earth and even be half the distance it is now, tides would be as much as eight times stronger according to Dr. Cook.

Other things shown in the trailer, such as the Earth’s oceans being sucked into the sky, have been dismissed as unlikely by Dr. Cook.

Be Entertained or Save Your Money?

moonfall linosgate destroyed city
Moonfall, Lionsgate Movies on YouTube

If you want to be entertained, then watch Moonfall, it surely won’t disappoint. Otherwise, take the words of Carla Hay that it’s an ‘atrocious mockery of NASA.’ Anyone feeling motivated by the science maybe take caution from the actual NASA science advice and save your DVD rental or cinema ticket money for sandbags in preparation for a slight Moon wobble.