Wednesday, March 07, 2012

MUST SEE: Crazy Orbits Abound In The PROMETHEUS Realm! WHY? *AND* A New Trailer Dropping Soon!

Wow - the new image from viral marketing for Ridley Scott's PROMETHEUS looks absolutely amazing!

Click to enlarge...

What was my first reaction though? What laws of astrophysics are these guys using? Clearly the notion that we are used to involving a solar system's (or even a galaxy's) plane of the ecliptic is nonexistent. Of course our system may not be the norm in the entire universe, but it is far from rare and is indeed common in our neck of the universe. So I prefer a bit of grounding when it comes to science in science fiction - unless this is all part of the story! If an alien race is sufficiently superior to another they may appear as gods, so if they were to create their own systems then perhaps the standard rules don't apply.

My understanding is the orbits of our solar system planets are in a (more or less) flat plane because when the system formed the planets were created out of a disk of dust surrounding the Sun. Because that disk of dust was shaped as a plane, all of the planets formed within that flat zone as well. Again, rings and disks are extremely common in our universe. The conservation of angular momentum amplifies any initial tiny spin of a cloud. With the cloud spinning faster and faster, it collapses into a disk as it seeks a "happy middle ground" between gravitational collapse and the centrifugal force of its rapid spin. The result is our plane of the ecliptic. Furthermore, it's the reason why we have spiral galaxies, and black hole accretion disks.

See? This photo is a somewhat disturbing to me as an amateur astronomer who studies such things not as a profession, but as a passion. Still it is deeply intriguing to know why they did this and in what context this is all in. I'm begging for more! Viral photo? DEFINITELY.

Here's the storyline:
Visionary filmmaker Ridley Scott returns to the genre he helped define, creating an original science fiction epic set in the most dangerous corners of the universe. The film takes a team of scientists and explorers on a thrilling journey that will test their physical and mental limits and strand them on a distant world, where they will discover the answers to our most profound questions and to life’s ultimate mystery.

PROMETHEUS opens June 8 and a brand new trailer drops on Saturday, March 17!

Sources: Weyland Industries Site via FirstShowing

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