Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Awesome Twitter Rant About Science Errors In 'Gravity'

Spoilers and sass ahead.

Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Warner Bros.

Alfonso Cuarón's space survival epic Gravity set a box office record this weekend, raking in 55.6 million of the hard-earned dollars of Americans who really, really wanted to hurtle through space with Sandra Bullock. Including a few major space nerds, many of whom have pointed out that the movie is far from realistic, science-wise. Routinely awesome astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, for one, took to Twitter last night to point out some of Gravity's biggest inconsistencies.

If you haven't seen it, first of all, what are you doing here? Go see it. See it in 3-D. Maybe see it twice. Then come back and we'll talk. But some people love spoilers, so here we go.

Sandra Bullock plays a medical engineer on her first mission to space, doing some unspecified--presumably brilliant--experiment and servicing the Hubble Space Telescope with the help of chatty old-timer astronaut George Clooney. When a Russian missile destroys a satellite, the sharp debris begins hurtling toward the astronauts at shrapnel speeds. Together, they have to avoid the debris (which is orbiting the Earth and comes back around on its destruction path every 90 minutes) and find a way to get back to Earth with their shuttle destroyed and communications with Earth shot. Major spoiler: only one of them will make it.

Now, Hollywood has been known to take some liberties with the laws of physics, and Gravity, for all its gorgeous Blue-Marble cinematography, is no exception. Here's what Tyson had to say:

The film #Gravity should be renamed "Zero Gravity" — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

The film #Gravity should be renamed "Angular Momentum" — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

As he explained later:

FYI: Angular Momentum -- The tendency, once set rotating, to keep rotating, unless another force acts to slow or stop it. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 7, 2013

The film #Gravity depicts a scenario of catastrophic satellite destruction that can actually happen. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

Mysteries of #Gravity: Why Bullock, a medical Doctor, is servicing the Hubble Space Telescope. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

Mysteries of #Gravity: How Hubble (350mi up) ISS (230mi up) & a Chinese Space Station are all in sight lines of one another. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

For more on this particular faux-pas, read about Dennis Overbye's experience watching the movie with an astronaut who actually did service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Mysteries of #Gravity: When Clooney releases Bullock's tether, he drifts away. In zero-G a single tug brings them together. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

This was the most cringe-worthy moment of the movie for me. CLOONEY DIDN'T HAVE TO DIE. But he had to die. He just had to. For Sandra Bullock to find her inner strength. Sacrifices.

Mysteries of #Gravity: Why anyone is impressed with a zero-G film 45 years after being impressed with "2001:A Space Odyssey" — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

Mysteries of #Gravity: Why Bullock's hair, in otherwise convincing zero-G scenes, did not float freely on her head. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

Real talk. But at least her tears floated into space convincingly!

Mysteries of #Gravity: Nearly all satellites orbit Earth west to east yet all satellite debris portrayed orbited east to west — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

Mysteries of #Gravity: Satellite communications were disrupted at 230 mi up, but communications satellites orbit 100x higher. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

Mysteries of #Gravity: Why we enjoy a SciFi film set in make-believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013

Despite all the snarking, it seems the blatant rejection of some of the realities of space didn't take away that much from the film's experience.

My Tweets hardly ever convey opinion. Mostly perspectives on the world. But if you must know, I enjoyed #Gravity very much. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 7, 2013

Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait also went on a bit of a geek-out about some of the scientific errors over at Slate. His conclusion: "The science errors won't bug you, and if they do, you need to pull your head out of your assumptions of what a movie should be."

Scientific impossibilities aside, the film is pretty great. If nothing else, the view is fantastic.