Alien: Covenant. Beyond science and logic

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Alien: Covenant. Beyond science and logic
Alien: Covenant. Beyond science and logic

Director Ridley Scott's sci-fi film grossed $ 240 million. And at the same time, a lot of questions from thinking viewers. We examined some of them in detail.

Alien: Covenant

Of course, no one demands complete scientific reliability from science fiction movies, and from horror movies - logic and sanity in the behavior of the heroes, their compliance with safety rules and the presence of at least some instinct for self-preservation. The whole plot of the picture moves thanks to the unreasonable behavior of the characters, but if they behaved even a little smarter, it is clear that the film would not have happened. However, if the cinema was a little more consistent with the modern scientific worldview, then, in our opinion, it would only become more interesting.

Crushing neutrino

The film begins with an event that could never have happened. The ejection of neutrinos in the mysterious "sector 106" leads to an accident on the "Covenant" ship with two thousand colonists waiting in cryosleep for the end of the long journey to the planet Origai-6. Some of the colonists and the captain are killed. And this is if you do not consider the chain of accidents that led to the fact that the ship at that moment was not far from the planet on which David, who imagines himself to be the creator, set up his experiments.

Why is the neutrino chosen for the role of such a crushing force? Is it possible that, after watching the film, the audience would want to know more about them? Neutrinos are elementary particles that practically do not interact with matter. It is extremely difficult to detect, detect neutrinos. Neutrinos are born in stars, nuclear reactors or atomic bombs. It is a product of nuclear reactions. They pass through everything in their path, be they planets or even stars. And even more so spaceships. And in very large quantities. It is estimated that 65 billion neutrinos pass through one square centimeter of our planet's surface every second. However, they do not change themselves and do not harm anything on the planet.


But we still manage to find them, albeit with great difficulty. To this end, scientists are building neutrino observatories, many of which reach gigantic proportions. Some of them are also in Russia: for example, the Baikal underwater neutrino telescope, which has been under construction since 2015. Another neutrino observatory has been built at the Amundsen-Scott Antarctic station. It is called IceCube. This name was chosen because the total volume of ice involved in it, in the thickness of which the cables with optical detectors fixed on them, are placed, reaches one cubic kilometer. The telescope on Lake Baikal is expected to have a volume of about half a cubic kilometer by 2021.

The optical system of both the Baikal and Antarctic observatories detects Cherenkov radiation - a weak blue glow that occurs in a liquid, including due to neutrinos. In general, the Zavet spacecraft could neither suffer from a neutrino flash, nor detect it, not having such large-scale detectors.

Invisible planet

Alien: Covenant is another film that shows how many planets Hollywood has, similar to Earth. A planet that accidentally finds itself in the path of a spaceship, and the force of gravity is almost the same as on Earth, and a similar composition of the atmosphere, you can even breathe there without spacesuits. Moreover, even on our planet, having visited it in the past, you would not always be able to breathe atmospheric air.

How can you hide a planet in the same direction as the destination of the ship's route, Origai 6? According to the plot, the ship's crew easily determines that the planet is even more habitable than the one previously chosen for colonization.Today we do not possess such methods. But it is unlikely that in the future we will abandon those ways of searching for exoplanets that we are practicing now. They will only get better. As you know, transit and Doppler planet detection methods involve observing parent stars, not the planets themselves. And these methods will certainly evolve. David definitely could not hide the star from observation from the Earth: for these purposes, it would be necessary to build a Dyson sphere so that the light from the star could not penetrate the envelope. But the disappearance of a star would draw even more attention to it than the presence of an Earth-like planet around it. In any case, the android, who accidentally got to a foreign planet, clearly did not possess either the technology or the time necessary for this.


It is difficult to imagine that scientists on Earth searching for targets for colonization could have missed a closer and more suitable place for creating a colony. Such a journey had to be prepared for more than one year. And even more so the ship's crew should have understood this.

By the way, no matter how close the planet is in its physical characteristics to the Earth, any microbial life on it is dangerous for earthlings. It would be deadly to go to such a planet without spacesuits, even if the parameters of the atmosphere completely coincide. And the episode where one of the crew members inhales alien spores and becomes infected is plausible. Only in reality, everything would be done without an android experimenter.

By the way, science fiction writers understood this even in the century before last. The War of the Worlds novel, written by H.G. Wells in 1897, describes a mirror image: the invasion of Earth by the Martians. It was the lack of immunity to terrestrial microorganisms that caused the death of the alien invaders.

Birth of Aliens

Strangers use human bodies as incubators. To create such a sophisticated method of reproduction, David, who imagines himself a creator, was inspired by a parasitic wasp. These insects place their larvae in the body of the victim they catch. The larvae hatched inside the victim feed on its organs, gradually gnawing their way out. Obviously, the victim, long before the parasite breaks into the outside world, will already die due to the lack of internal organs that have gone to feed him. However, this is in nature, and in the film it is not at all like that.


It has nothing to do with reality and the dramatic appearance of the Alien from the human body. An individual ready for life outside the host's body, according to Michael Milford and Jaxie Leitner of the Queensland University of Technology (Australia), should weigh no more than five kilograms. But she has to get out of the chest of the carrier, which is 16 times more massive.

Taking into account the ratio of the body weight of the newborn "breastbreaker" to its victim, it should be four times stronger. In heart surgery, the surgeon uses special rib scissors or a circular saw to penetrate the patient's chest. And the Alien breaks out, almost without encountering any resistance. However, the human ribcage is very strong: an impact with a force of 3,300 Newtons can break an rib only in one case in four. With such force, a titled boxer can hit, but not a newly hatched individual. Scientists estimate that the alien is only capable of producing an effort of about 1,175 Newtons of force, so it will probably take much longer and more effort to leave the ribcage.

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