In Space No One can Hear You Scream was the tag-line for Ridley Scott’s wonderful film, Alien. That isn’t what this story is about. Nor is this story about the upcoming 2017 verbosely titled, Prometheus 2 Alien Covenant.
Rather, I wish to debunk nearly every science fiction movie ever made ala Neil deGrasse Tyson. I am no astrophysicist, but I know a little about sound waves and some small stuff about space.
A sound wave needs to travel through something like air or water. Space is a big void, no air or water. Astronauts can speak inside their air filled suits or on the air filled space station with ease. But, if they lost their helmet while floating around outside, their cry of “Oh, SHIT!!” wouldn’t carry at all.
All the explosions and cool noises that battling spaceships make couldn’t really happen. Star Wars would totally suck without sound, however, so I guess we need to make room for artistic license.
What about the SETI programs with Jodi Foster listening for some sign of life? Well, what they “listen” for torecord are electromagnetic disturbances that can be reproduced to make sound. Steve Miller crooned about being a Space Cowboy, but it turns out space is better suited for librarians.