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National Geographic Video - Asteroids - Deadly Impact
National Geographic Video - Asteroids - Deadly Impact
Actors: Carolyn Shoemaker, Eugene Shoemaker
Director: Eitan Weinreich
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2003     1hr 0min

Asteroids and comets: Every year, millions of these "stray bullets" streak through the skies, and tons of small meteorites strike our planet! Some 65 million years ago, dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the earth - in w...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Carolyn Shoemaker, Eugene Shoemaker
Director: Eitan Weinreich
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, History
Studio: Nat'l Geographic Vid
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 07/29/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1997
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1997
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

What's That Up In The Sky?
Holy Olio | Grand Rapids, MI USA | 09/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's astonishing that as recently as 1963 the preponderance of opinion was that Meteor Crater was not caused by an impact.

After the last lunar landing impact was established as the overwhelmingly dominant process at work on the lunar surface, but such impacts on Earth were generally still denied.

Despite the fact that the Alvarez theory gained ground from 1980 until the middle of 1994, impact as a common occurence continued to be denied. After the SL9 impact on Jupiter (well covered in this video) the last significant resistance to the K-T impact as the mechanism of extinction for the dinosaurs was swept away. That this catastrophe on another world brought about an overnight change in the sciences was appropriate.

Now there are many impact craters recognized AS impact craters found throughout the world and not just in some comfortably remote location like the Moon or Jupiter. It is now much cheaper to read constrasting views about such events since the anti-impactors' books have appeared in the remainder lists.

Oddly enough, there's still the occasional attempt to deny impacts, such as the 12th century impact on the Moon observed from England, and the attribution of Martian impact craters to volcanism. Perhaps that odd resistance to the idea of impact will someday soon die out. When it does, good riddance.

Asteroids Deadly Impact is my favorite National Geographic video of all time, and I believe I've seen them all. Perhaps it would be a much better world if people would tune out the daytime (and nighttime) tv garbage and watch stuff like this. Certainly would be worth a try.

The video covers the history of impact geology by recounting the career (through 1994) of the now-deceased Eugene Shoemaker, including his finds in the Ries Basin (an impact crater), Barringer Crater (impact crater which we know as "Meteor Crater"), and of course the comet(s) Shoemaker-Levy 9 and his role in the Apollo missions.

This DVD version was a welcome addition to my video collection. The extra features are a bit of a dud (NG ads, and a sort of quiz about impact that eventually loops around to the beginning) and there are some slight changes in the soundtrack (if memory serves), but it's the same show as on VHS, without the degradation of picture quality."
The Danger of Our Place in Space
W. L. Culbertson | Bryan, OH USA | 03/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I use this movie regularly in the introduction to astronomy college course I teach. It is a very engaging story, first about Gene Shoemaker, then about Gene, his wife, Carolyn, and their friend David Levy. The movie works on several levels. First, it introduces the subject of cratering and its role in the formation of the planets (and its ongoing effects!). It also shows clearly how science is done, and how one man's quest can change the course of scientific ideas. As a particular bonus, the film makes clear the joy and excitement these people find in doing science and figuring things out. Although I have shown it many, many times, I always find myself being drawn into watching it just one more time..."
A great story well told
rockdoc | Bloomington, IL USA | 02/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a well-done piece about one of the great planetary events of our time: the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in 1994. It also tells the story of how Gene Shomaker, almost single-handedly, proved that impact craters on the moon and on Earth were, in fact, caused by impacts and not by volcanism. I have used it many times in general astronomy classes and it never fails to engage students, most of whom had not thought about the topic before. It also presents Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker, and their colleague David Levy, as the warm, engaging people with real passion for their work that they really are. It is too bad that Gene has left us, making an update difficult. My only comment about the negative review below is that it is irresponsible for someone to review a video s/he has not completely viewed."