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Old February 13 2013, 03:05 PM   #41
Re: Worst science goofs

OTOH, ignoring the comic, we learn neither that the supernova would happen in a distant star nor that said star would be particularly old. For all we know, it was the homestar of Romulus that blew.

Although the movie does make it sound as if the explosion came as a nasty surprise to everybody except Spock, in which case it would in fact be better if the star were of a type that was unlikely to go supernova.

For fairly bad science in that movie, we get the scene where Nero has devastated a formation of starships, and the sky is full of wreckage. Yet the wreckage is at a virtual standstill vs. Nero's starship - and Nero's starship is at a standstill vs. the nearby surface of planet Vulcan. Unless all the action is taking place at geosynchronous height, the wreckage should be in the process of falling more or less straight down towards the planet... And it would take some pretty extreme assumptions about the nature of planet Vulcan to argue that the very low height we observe is geosynchronous (or hephaistosynchronous, or whatever terminology nitpickers might want to extrapolate from today's naming practices).

Sure, our heroes arrive fairly soon after the fight, so the debris might have only recently begun its fall. But why were the ships destroyed so much higher up than the position Nero's ship that they'd be at this level some minutes after the action? And why don't we see any appreciable downward motion? Gravity at the observed height should still be about three-quarters of surface normal, so the acceleration down shouldn't be invisibly gradual...

Timo Saloniemi
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