Gravity in Space

I’m loving the current age of comics to screen. Primarily movies, not TV. I was never much of a comic book reader so I don’t know most of the lore, nor do I care. A couple tickets, a bucket of popcorn or some candy, a large drink, and my wife and I have a fun cheap date.

I also love YouTube and what it offers, including the channel CinemaSins. Of course movies are going to have errors – continuity errors, scene cutting errors, ‘true to life’ side of the street errors, etc. However, CinemaSins goes a bit further and goes the Captain Obvious route. So naturally I love it. However, with The Avengers they got it wrong with #61: There is no gravity in space, but Iron Man falls back to Earth anyway.

Well, there is. How else does the moon orbit the Earth or the Earth orbit the Sun? Did we all forget our Physics 101? In the words of Weird Al via Pancreas:

My pancreas attracts every other
Pancreas in the universe
With a force proportional
To the product of their masses
And inversely proportional
To the distance between them

In other words, the force of gravity between two objects is equal to the gravitation constant times the mass of each object divided by the distance between them.

Gravity Equation

Gravity via

Commercial jet liners fly between 5 and 6 miles up, the portal was was closer than that. As Iron Man flies through the portal he flies straight out, which means Earth is ‘below’ him. The highest free fall of a human was 24.2 miles – so we know Earth’s gravity will pull a person down from that far, but not as far as the moon (238,900 miles). I’d guess Iron Man flew less than 10 miles into space from the portal. Sure, he’s thousands, millions, or billions of miles from or even in a different realm then Earth. But, as objects and light can go through the portal why would universal gravitation be any different?

I only saw CinemaSin’s episode on The avengers a week or two ago and laughed the whole way through. And while watching The Avengers just now (and again, thanks FX), it’s clear the movie did NOT make a mistake.

Take away: If you’re going to be a smart ass, be smart.

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