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Visualising Astronomy: Using Impact to Inform (pages 24-25)
Pop culture has visualised asteroids in a way that has made a far greater impact in the public domain than the outreach community can ever hope to achieve. Films such as Meteor (1979), Armageddon (1997) and Deep Impact (1997) may score poorly on scientific accuracy, but they have influenced our collective consciousness. (Perhaps in a fit of pre-millennial anxiety, the late 1990s saw a host of films featuring an asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth1.) In addition to the destruction of Earth’s cities, the Millennium Falcon dodging giant tumbling boulders in The Empire Strikes Back has probably influenced more people’s mental image of an asteroid belt than any other single visual.