An astrophysicist reacts to MOONFALL | Could a white dwarf fit inside the Moon?!

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In Moonfall, the Moon tumbles out of orbit due to alien intervention and chaos and destruction reign on Earth. But which parts of the movie follow actual science and which parts are definitely FICTION? I never thought I’d be calculating the mass of a white dwarf the size of the Moon, but here we are…

Watch Moonfall on Amazon Prime now:

For more information on NASA’s DART mission to redirect an asteroid see:
and this NASA page:

01:01 – Why solar eclipses are coincidences not conspiracies
02:47 – The Moon isn’t hollow
03:55 – How to change the orbit of a solar system object
05:36 – The DART mission to redirect an asteroid
06:09 – The Moon’s elliptical orbit
06:31 – The Roche limit
08:32 – Calculating the Earth-Moon Roche limit
09:14 – High tide times and the phases of the Moon
10:36 – “Gravity waves” and gravitational waves
12:27 – Moonrise and increased gravity
13:12 – The Moon has a white dwarf inside?!
15:31 – Calculating the mass of a white dwarf the size of the Moon
17:26 – Sounds like Brian Cox
17:47 – Stop destroying the Hubble Space Telescope!
18:36 – The End
19:41 – Brilliant
20:55 – Bloopers

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👩🏽‍💻 I’m Dr Becky Smethurst, an astrophysicist at University of Oxford (Christ Church). I love making videos about science with an unnatural level of enthusiasm. I like to focus on *how* we know things, not just what we know. And especially, the things we still don’t know. If you’ve ever wondered about something in space and couldn’t find an answer online – you can ask me! My day job is to do research into how supermassive black holes can affect the galaxies that they live in. In particular, I look at whether the energy output from the disk of material orbiting around a growing supermassive black hole can stop a galaxy from forming stars.



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