Neil deGrasse Tyson had stellar science praise for ‘Interstellar’

It's not every day that a science-fiction movie gets praise from Mr. Tyson.

Mar 1, 2020, 5:29 pm*

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Gavia Baker-Whitelaw 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson has often criticized Hollywood science-fiction movies for their shaky grasp of science, but the popular science communicator is giving Interstellar an unusually positive review.

Christopher Nolan’s latest film follows a team of astronauts through a black hole as they search for a habitable planet for humankind to colonize. Although its central storyline is arguably a fantasy, the film’s depiction of wormholes, relativity, and gravity are all grounded in real science, thanks in part to Nolan’s astrophysicist consultant Kip Thorne. One of Thorne’s most noticeable contributions is the shape of the black hole: a planet-like sphere rather than the popularly imagined window or hole into another part of the universe.

Tyson’s Twitter praise for the movie covered this and other aspects of Interstellar that clearly bore the influence of Thorne’s scientific scrutiny.

The astrophysicist mainly discussed Interstellar‘s realistic portrayal of zero gravity and its plausible interpretation of black holes, but he also highlighted Nolan’s casting choices. All of the main characters, he noted, are scientists or engineers, and two of them are women.

Tyson’s commentary will likely settle a few of the Interstellar-related arguments that have been raging online this weekend, but it’s still up to audiences to decide whether scientific accuracy makes Interstellar a better or more entertaining film as a whole.

Photo via Bill Ingalls/NASA (Public Domain)

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*First Published: Nov 10, 2014, 10:15 am