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Meteor (1979) Poster

(1979)

Goofs

Jump to: Continuity (3) | Factual errors (12) | Plot holes (1) | Revealing mistakes (6)

Continuity 

Martin Landau's character, Gen. Adlon, must have been a naughty boy. He is first portrayed as a three star general, but seems to have been demoted before the 'meeting' @ about seventeen minutes.
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Every time we see the meteor heading toward Earth, the distances change between shots.
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At 1:31, Narrator gives speed of comet as 108,000 MPH. At about 6:01, 'Sherwood' says that the observatory called (7 days ago), and the comet was: "a couple of hundred thousand miles" from the belt. By the time Sherwood says this, the comet is almost 18 MILLION miles past the belt.
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Factual errors 

The rockets sent to hit the meteor would not burn their engines for the entire trip from launch to impact. Rockets are very fuel-thirsty. The ones in the movie would burn for a few minutes to achieve escape velocity and get on an intercept path. They would coast the rest of the trip to the meteor.
Mission Control is able to communicate with Challenger 2 in real time, despite the fact that the Challenger 2 is outside the orbit of Mars, over a hundred million miles away. At that distance, transmissions would take several minutes to reach one another.
The asteroid belt is shown as being crowded with asteroids. In fact, asteroids in the belt are so far apart that one can fly right through the area without even seeing an asteroid.
The meteoroid is headed for Earth at about 35,000 miles an hour, and it will hit Earth in a week. At 35,000 miles an hour, an object would take at least six months to travel from the asteroid belt to Earth orbit.
Comet tails do not automatically trail behind them; they are always pointed away from the Sun.
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It is impossible to receive am radio reception surrounded by concrete and underground.
Due to loss of momentum, the Challenger II would not have been able to return to Mars after traveling past its orbit to explore/examine the asteroid belt. Mars is about 1.5 AU out, the asteroid belt begins about 2.3 AU out (1 AU = almost 93 million miles / 149.6 million km)
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The splinter that hits New York City does not appear to be going very fast (no more than sixty miles an hour) when it hits; it glides lazily past the Statue of Liberty in one shot. An object traveling at that speed would do damage, but it wouldn't cause anywhere near the amount of devastation shown.
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A small piece or rock or metal drifting through space is called a meteoroid. A meteoroid that enters Earth's atmosphere and burns up is called a meteor; the terms "meteor" and "shooting star" are one and the same. Most meteors are tiny, not much larger than a grain of sand. A meteor that does not burn up all the way and hits the Earth is called a meteorite. An object five miles wide would never be referred to as a "meteor", especially by astrophysicists. It would still be called an asteroid.
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The Challenger II spacecraft (which is supposedly capable of traveling to Mars) is obviously a model of Skylab, a space station that could not leave Earth's orbit.
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There are numerous scientific errors.
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Due to loss of momentum, the Challenger II would not have been able to return to its journey to Mars after stopping at the asteroid belt.
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Plot holes 

The earlier an asteroid's path is changed, the less force that is needed to change its orbit. It is simply absurd that they wouldn't have launched as soon as possible.
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Revealing mistakes 

In a shot of the meteor passing in front of the Sun, the Sun appears eclipsed AND the meteor appears to be lit from somewhere to the left of the camera.
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The sequence in Siberia supposedly takes place during a blizzard (flying snow is matted in over the scene). However, the Siberian man has no snow on his hair or clothes, does not have to fight any wind when walking, and leaves the flap to his hut open when he goes inside - and the smoke coming out of the hut's chimney rises vertically.
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The Russian Transport that takes Dr. Dubov to America is an American Boeing 707 with a Russian Star on it.
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When the Challenger II is silhouetted in front of the Sun, the "Sun" is obviously a stage light, partly covered by a shade (the same thing happens again in a shot of the Hercules satellite).
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In the final scene, the flags of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. are flown improperly. The U.S flag should properly been on the left and with the blue star field in the upper left. Film is not reversed as the foreign flag is not reversed.
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The cars shown in a scene set in Russia are obviously Checker Taxicabs stretched into limousines.
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