Neil deGrass Tyson Gets Titanic Stars Changed

April 2nd, 2012

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This is nearly identical to the talk Neil Tyson gave about the movie Titanic and how the stars were not accurate in the sky during the final scenes of the movie at TAM last year…


A little anal? I’d say so, considering how bad science and history are generally portrayed in movies. I doubt anyone actually noticed this besides Dr. Tyson.

Whatever your side on this, I also think James Camron did have a pretty good shoot-down for Dr. Tyson.

But he did get his way…

Via Contact Music:

Cameron Changes Stars In Titanic
Moviemaker James Cameron has re-edited a scene in Titanic showing stars sparkling in the night sky – after a leading astronomer told him the astral alignment was incorrect.

The director unveiled a 3D version of his multi-Oscar winning classic last month (Mar12) and he resisted the temptation to use its reworking as an excuse to cut scenes he’s no longer happy with.

But there was one shot Cameron felt obliged to alter, because a top stargazer informed him the astral pattern onscreen was incorrect for the night the liner sank in 1912.

The scene involves Kate Winslet’s character, Rose DeWitt Bukater, drifting on a piece of wood and gazing at the night sky as the disaster unfolds.

Cameron tells British magazine Culture, “Oh, there is one shot that I fixed. It’s because Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is one of the U.S.’ leading astronomers, sent me quite a snarky email saying that, at that time of year, in that position in the Atlantic in 1912, when Rose is lying on the piece of driftwood and staring up at the stars, that is not the star field she would have seen, and with my reputation as a perfectionist, I should have known that and I should have put the right star field in.

“So I said, ‘All right, you son of a b**ch, send me the right stars for the exact time, 4.20am on April 15, 1912, and I’ll put it in the movie.’ So that’s the one shot that has been changed.”


This entry was posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at 8:50 pm and is filed under Amazing Meeting, Bad Science, Good Science, media, Misc, Space. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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9 Responses to “Neil deGrass Tyson Gets Titanic Stars Changed”

  1. 1
    Chris Says:

    Hee hee 4:20 man…420 is cool.


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  2. 2
    DV82XL Says:

    A little anal? I’d say this sets a new standard.


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  3. 3
    Joffan Says:

    If I remember the scene, it wasn’t a background shot of stars, but just the sky itself as the focus of attention. So there’s a reasonable case for getting it right, although it’s an effective shot without that. Cameron went to a lot of trouble with other aspects of the the film to get them right rather than merely effective, so Tyson knew he could press Cameron’s buttons.


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  4. 4
    MikeC Says:

    Yay for Aspergers! :)


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  5. 5
    Will Says:

    I wonder how many people can even correctly identify two or more constellations. Considering the blatant abuse for geography, basic physics, etc. of most movies, it does seem pretty anal to write a letter pointing out the incorrectness of the star field. Still, NDT is pretty cool so such a retentive position can be easily overlooked.


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  6. 6
    MikeC Says:

            Will said:

    I wonder how many people can even correctly identify two or more constellations.

    Me, me, me :) Southern Cross, Orion, Scorpio :)


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  7. 7
    Anon Says:

            MikeC said:

    Scorpio :)

    No such constellation.


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  8. 8
    G.R.L. Cowan, hydrogen-energy fan until ~1996 Says:

    But are they in 3D.


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  9. 9
    G Says:

    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars – Oscar de Grasse Cameron


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