Armageddon (1998)


Concept featured in film: Reduced Gravity

Location of clip: DVD: 1:50:21 - 1:55:29


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: This clip shows the "Armadillo", or space vehicle, being driven by A.J. He and the other two men are trying to reach the shuttle that already landed on the asteroid. They come across a giant ravine in the asteroid and have no way to cross it. They realize that the asteroid has reduced gravity because it has a much smaller mass than the earth. Since there is less gravity on the asteroid, they try to jump the ravine in the vehicle. Once in the air, they hit a spike and are propelled toward outer space. They have to burn the engines in order to create a force to get them back on the asteroid.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: The amount of gravity an object has depends on its mass. The earth has a certain amount of gravity because of its large mass. Weight depends on the amount of gravity present on the earth. The asteroid has a much smaller mass than the earth, therefore there is less gravity on the asteroid. Since there is less gravity, the space vehicle does not weigh as much; making it capable of jumping the ravine because it can stay in the air much longer with the reduce gravity.

Suggestions to Teachers:

1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What is gravity?

b. Why is there less gravity on the asteroid than on the earth?

c. How does the reduced gravity help the vehicle jump the ravine?

2. This clip could be used while discussing gravity. Students can do a lab measuring the mass and weight of various objects and plotting the data on a line graph. Students calculate the slope of the line in order to calculate the acceleration due to gravity on earth. They can then calculate the weight of the objects on other planets based on the gravity of those planets.