February 4, 2022

Students in Earth and Space Science Class Attend Advance Screening of Moonfall

Students standing in front of Moonfall screenAbout two dozen Earth and Space Science (ESS 127) students recently attended an advanced screening of Lionsgate's Moonfall, a natural disaster movie set in space.

Meteorologist Drew Anderson, an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, reached out to the movie company once he saw previews for the movie. Lionsgate invited all of his students to the Philadelphia area screening.

"Moonfall fits so perfectly into our class since ESS 127 is a natural disasters movie class," said Anderson. "We watch Hollywood blockbusters about space, weather and geology (volcanoes and earthquakes), and discuss what the movies got scientifically accurate as well as, inevitably, scientifically inaccurate."

Anderson held a movie discussion following the screening in the theatre with his students. They talked about Moonfall's accurate flooding science, the film's gravity science, and about its textbook examples of themes common in natural disaster movies.

Students thought that the movie was especially entertaining.

"What I enjoyed the most was the plot twist regarding the reasoning for the moon's change in orbit," explained Ethan Fink, who is working on his master's in geographic information systems.

"From whatever technical background you come from, you could appreciate [the movie] no matter how little or how much you already knew about space and gravity" said Emily Gaughan, a language studies student.

WCU's ESS 127 students will be learning a lot more about space and gravity this spring. With movies like Interstellar, The Martian, and Geostorm on the syllabus, there's much to discuss. Both sections of the course will also continue their conversation about Moonfall in the classroom.

Moonfall will be released to theatres nationwide on Friday, February 4, 2022.

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