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7 Great Movies Featuring Earth-Threatening Asteroids

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NASA/Don Davis

"The Day the Sky Exploded" (1958)

Everett Collection

"Meteor" (1979)

Everett Collection

The trailer for this movie alone is worth the 3-minute watch. While using dramatic sounds of an asteroid whizzing through space (which wouldn't happen, as there is no air in space in which sound can carry), the narrator begins describing the impending asteroid strike in panicked terms:

"Its power is greater than all hydrogen bombs. Its speed is higher than any rocket ever conceived. Its force can shatter continents. Its mass can level mountain ranges. It cannot think. It cannot reason. IT CANNOT CHANGE ITS COURSE."

Starring Sean Connery (who was best known at the time as James Bond), this movie shows the United States and what was then the Soviet Union putting aside Cold War tensions and working together to stop the threat.

"Night of the Comet" (1984)

Everett Collection

"Deep Impact" (1998)


"Seeking A Friend for the End of the World" (2012)

Darren Michaels

"The Good Dinosaur" (2015)


"Armageddon" (1998)


This movie is the source for most meteor-impact jokes you hear today, particularly any references about calling in Bruce Willis to save the Earth. The movie depicts Harry Stamper (Willis) and his oil rig crew (who are mostly losers who have done time in jail) being hired by NASA as astronauts. Their goal is to drill into an asteroid the size of Texas and deploy a bomb to break it into pieces, before the asteroid hits the Earth.

Meanwhile, Stamper's daughter Grace (Liv Tyler) falls into a torrid love affair with one of Willis' crew, A.J. (Ben Affleck). We'll spare you the details of their overwrought discussions of love over animal crackers — but do understand that the science, plainly put, sucks. Highlights include occasional depictions of Earth-scale gravity on a tiny asteroid, watching two space shuttles take off at the same time just a few hundred feet from each other, and the most stereotypical portrayal ever of a Russian cosmonaut on then-space station Mir.

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is pursuing a Ph.D. part-time in aerospace sciences (University of North Dakota) after completing an M.Sc. (space studies) at the same institution. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @HowellSpace.