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Jun 30 2020 | By - Nisha Joshi

International Asteroid Day must Watch Films

“The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles”. Truer words were never spoken as those said by ‘Doctor Who’. Afterall, mankind is a fickle species. By day they gaze at the scorching sun and believe in their own magnanimity. What else could be better than us? Ever thought about it?

By the night, mankind switches to philosophers and assumes dominance over the vastness of cataclysmic proportions when they gaze at the starlit sky. On International Asteroid Day, it saddens to report that majority of the population is ignorant of devastating impact any random asteroid can have on our ecosystem if and when it crashes on Earth.  Alas this time, there will be no fictional hero, who comes to our rescue. 

Origins: Why is International Asteroid Day a marked occasion by the UN?

The UN (United Nations) has undertaken the responsibility of bringing about the awareness of a near extinction level natural disaster. Back in 30 June 30, 1908. which had the potential of erasing civilization if it had come to pass. While we may wish life was a bed of roses, alas our reality is that we are humans who can be whipped out by one asteroid going the wrong direction. It is thus important to learn and identify objects that pose a threat to the planet. We need to educate the people on what to do if such a situation arises.

Hollywood has had its share of movies based on fictional situations. While there may be a few that go above and beyond logic bordering fiction, they are an ideal guide to how best to behave when faced with an unexpected natural calamity.

This International Asteroid day, put your feet up and thank the stars, that what you are watching is just a movie and not a reality we face anytime soon. 

1)Armageddon- Can you believe a few humans tried to stop an asteroid from colliding with Earth? Sounds impractical, right? But this hit movie follows the deep insight of scientists from NASA to avoid the impact of an asteroid. Though, there were a huge number of negative comments on this movie, yet it turned out to be the top grossing film of 1998; for it was a homage to the sheer audacity and will power of mankind to survive even when in a dire situation.

2)Independence Day- Just take your mind to the world of imagination and think about what if aliens attack the Earth? After all there is no protective shield surrounding the planet and Iron Man fought Captain America to the extent of causing a ‘civil war’ to get his point across. This movie depicts a gigantic UFO entering in the orbit of Earth and with it, the aliens seek to bring to an end the entire civilization. Science, thankfully, always comes to the rescue, even with the help of a common cold!

3)Deep Impact- Imagine what if the only person with the knowledge of an asteroid on a collision course with Earth dies with misfortune? Who will save the planet from the wrath of an incoming, indestructible comet before its impact point? The scientists in the movie also tried a ballistic missile to neutralise the course of the asteroid which failed, after which a bunch of space crew members plan on a suicide mission to save earth and destroy the asteroid before it crosses the Earth’s atmosphere. Edge of the seat thriller this movie!

4)Asteroid- A 1997 miniseries for television depicting the United States government to prevent an asteroid to collide with Earth. The two name-say famous asteroids Helios and Eros with disrupted orbits are postulated to hit Earth massively. The asteroids were believed to cause world ecological disorder and generate temperatures higher than that of the Sun. People seemed to hold their horses while watching this series because the voidness of Space is full of mysteries.

5)Greenland: This soon to release Gerald Butler film is a class apart from all its peers. With a buzz in the award circuit for its truthful representation, this film is a sure bet to hit all the heartstrings of the common man in an uncommon situation. It focuses on one measly human who wants his family to survive. No NASA, no rockets, no seep space philosophy. A man and his sheer determination and will to survive against the odds. 

To Conclude:

“When you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all… Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid, and that’s it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger and weirder than that. It’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.” The Doctor had this right too. There is so much the universe has to offer. So much that can be taken away in one instant. One space debri, one Asteroid detached from a random rock in far flung space has the power to end us. Turn us into rubbish. Tonight, on World Asteroid Day, tuck your kids in bed, warm and safe and turn to gaze in to the sky. Say a prayer of thanks that they are far off and not planning a visit to good old Earth any time soon!