Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid!

More than 100 years have passed since the first film was shown in movie theatres that depicted events surrounding a rock from space making an impact with Earth. In that case, it was a comet rather than an asteroid. The movie, a silent film called The End of the World (1916), was inspired by the passage of two comets in 1910 – the so-called Great Daylight Comet of 1910 closely followed by Halley’s Comet – and the hysteria that accompanied these two events.

The apparition of Halley’s Comet certainly made an impact on people around the world, some of whom started popping pills being peddled by conmen as protection from the potentially poisonous cyanogen gas that had been detected by astronomers to be present in the comet’s coma.

Hope's Comet Pills advertisement from 1910. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! Comet impact movies.

Since then, we have been inundated with fictional depictions of asteroids and comets threatening to impact the Earth in extinction level events. This article provides a list of 78 movies and TV shows (actually 70 dramas plus a handful of movies re-released with different titles or cuts) which feature an impact threat, or which encompass other aspects of my previous discussions about asteroids, annihilations, comets and catastrophes as well as meteoroids, meteors and meteorites. The list covers cinema films, made-for-TV movies, internet movies, miniseries, a handful of single TV show episodes, and a truly phenomenal dramatized documentary which is unmissable (unlike Earth in this instance).

But before I start on the list, I want to say one thing…

“It’s the size of Texas!”

When our astronomer declares the incoming antagonist to be “the size of Texas” (which seems to be the favoured size comparison in certain well known asteroid disaster movies), what does that size actually mean? Does the asteroid have a width, length or mean geometric diameter the size of Texas, or is its flat face the size of Texas, or do we wrap Texas around the asteroid?

As a guide, Texas measures at its extremes roughly 1,250 km x 1,270 km, so a size announced a split second after our astronomer spots her asteroid for the first time could simply refer to the asteroid having a diameter of around that size, say 1,260 km. But Texas covers an area of around 696,000 km². If the announced size refers to the flat face of the asteroid as we see it (i.e. its cross-sectional area), the mean diameter is 830 km and this seems to be what they mean in Deadly Skies (2006) (a movie also known as Force of Impact). But if the declared size refers to the surface area (i.e. wrapped around the asteroid) as it seems to from a draft script of Armageddon (1998) the mean diameter is 470 km. So an asteroid “the size of Texas” could have a diameter of 1,260 km, 830 km or 470 km, depending on the context.

For comparison, the mean diameters of the four largest known asteroids are: 946 km ( 1 Ceres ), 525 km (4 Vesta), 512 km (2 Pallas) and 431 km (10 Hygiea). The largest known comets (meaning cometary nuclei) whose trajectories have taken them inside the orbit of Saturn include the Comet of 1729 (100 km), Hale-Bopp (60 km) and 109P/Swift-Tuttle (26 km), but most comets may be smaller than around 16 km (10 miles) – for example, the mean diameter of the nucleus of Halley’s Comet is about 11 km and that of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is about 4 km.

Some of the movies and shows on the list below use metric units, some use imperial units, and some use both interchangeably. In any event, convert using 1 mile = 1.6 km thereabouts.

The disaster mitigation efforts you are about to encounter cover everything from using nuclear warheads on surface to air missiles, space-based missiles, sub-sea missiles, in deep core drilling on the asteroid or deploying them in trenches and volcanoes on Earth, to kinetic impactors, gravity tractors, zero-gravity levitation devices, carbon-fibre mesh trawlers, magnetic rail guns, triangulated laser guns, light sails, self-sealing nanomaterials, super-heated surfaces, reflective paint, repulsive energy-field devices on weaponised asteroids, hijacked space probes, clandestine trajectory alterations, EM drives, super weapons with theoretical energy sources, homemade rockets with chemical concoctions, sheltering in underground bunkers, building arks, joining cults, mass evacuation, even planetary evacuation, making the Earth intangible, shifting the Earth out of the way with the rocket effect or a massive artificially-induced tectonic displacement, and when all else fails just standing on a beach and waiting for the impact to happen.

And there’s always a fated reporter on the trail.

The list below provides a summary of each story, but many entries include the option to open more in-depth synopses. With so many titles to get through, it’ll be a labour of love to read and watch. Don’t take it all too seriously, it’s just science fiction and most of the mitigation attempts are technologically impossible, at least for now.

This list will be maintained, so although the post was originally written in 2019, it will always up-to-date.

Lights, camera and asteroid!

A Day On The Asteroid film (2009). Asteroid movies.

A Day on the Asteroid (2009). If you ever make it through this list you will be spending vastly more than a day on the asteroid. So my list starts not with a disaster movie but with this lower-than-low budget internet film about an Inspector who is sent to investigate increasing disturbances in the space-time continuum related to wormhole activities on an asteroid mining colony.

Trailer | Watch


Scene showing the devastation of Phoenix in A Fire in the Sky (1978). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! which is also about comet impacts and other bodies impacting the Earth.

A Fire in the Sky (1978). TV movie in which a Jupiter-family comet is on course to impact Earth in the Arizona desert. After a failed military nuclear intercept, mass evacuation of Phoenix and the surrounding area is the only option before the city is obliterated.

Watch


Anna's Storm (2007) aka Hell's Rain (2007).

Anna’s Storm (2007) see Hell’s Rain (2007).


Three people standing in the desert as two small meteors pass overhead in Apocalypse CA (2011).

Apocalypse, CA (2011). TV movie. A group of friends are on a comedic romp through the desert en route to Palm Springs, intentionally towards the predicted impact site of an asteroid that will destroy the Earth in five days’ time. I admit, I haven’t watched this one but it may well be a disaster.

Trailer


Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014) aka Apocalypse Tomorrow (2014).

Apocalypse Tomorrow (2014) see Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014).


Scene from Armageddon (1998) showing the members of the two shuttle crews walking on the tarmac. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Armageddon (1998). A blockbuster (literally) about a team of deep core drillers tasked by NASA to go and plant a nuclear bomb on an asteroid the size of Texas that is on course to impact in the Pacific Ocean. There’s more than one nod to The Right Stuff in this movie.

Watch


Asteroid heading into the city in Asteroid (1997). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Asteroid (1997). TV miniseries. Two asteroids are perturbed from the asteroid belt by the return of a long-period comet. Kansas City and Dallas are the impact targets. With insufficient warning and a failed nuclear intercept attempt, mass evacuation is the only option.

Watch


Homemade rocket impacting incoming asteroid in Asteroid Final Impact (2015) aka Meteor Assault (2015). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Asteroid: Final Impact (2015) aka Meteor Assault (2015). TV movie. A whistleblower scientist who used to run an asteroid tracking program that was clandestinely being used as a spy satellite, reactivates it to locate a dark asteroid on course to hit the western continental US within hours in a catastrophic impact. With a homemade rocket he fires a chemical compound into the asteroid which implodes in an instantaneous chain reaction.

Trailer | Watch


View from space showing explosions around the globe at the fault lines and the incoming asteroid in Asteroid vs Earth (2014). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Asteroid vs Earth (2014). TV movie. An asteroid one quarter the size of the Moon is on course to collide with Earth. A geophysicist is tasked with inducing a massive tectonic displacement using nuclear weapons to move Earth out of the way. A deep sea trench and an island volcano are the two routes to get the missiles into the Earth’s core.

Watch


Woman looking scared up at sky in Before The Fall (2008) aka Tres Dias (2008) in a blog about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Before the Fall (2008) aka Tres Días (2008). Movie. An asteroid will impact Earth in 72 hours in a catastrophic collision that no-one is expected to survive. In its final hours, the world is gripped by chaos and mass panic. A serial killer escapes from prison and holds a family hostage, making their final hours even more unbearable. It’s violent and destructive even before the impact, so maybe do what the asteroid won’t and give this one a miss.

Trailer | DVD


Scene from showing Mercury approaching Earth in the film Collision Earth (2011). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Collision Earth (2011). TV movie. The Sun momentarily becomes a magnetar, magnetising Mercury and knocking it onto a collision course with Earth. An abandoned weaponised asteroid project is resurrected to deflect it. The asteroid isn’t the threat here, but there’s an impact threat to Earth nevertheless.

Watch


Scene from film Doomsday Rock (1997) explaining the cave paintings in a blog about about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Cosmic Shock (1997) see Doomsday Rock (1997).


Scene showing the atmosphere chain between the two gypsy moons in the film Crash of the Moons (1954), in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Crash of the Moons (1954). TV movie (three episode story of a TV series). The planet Ophecius is in the collisional path of one of a binary pair of gypsy moons. The inhabitants of the planet and the colliding moon, as well as a nearby space station, must all be evacuated before the impact due to take place within days.

Watch


Ectoranium asteroid passing through an intangible Earth in Danny Phantom Phantom Planet (2007) in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Danny Phantom “Phantom Planet” (2007). Animated TV series [S3, Ep 12–13]. A haunt of ghosts make the Earth intangible so that an Ectoranium asteroid can pass right through.

Watch


Scene showing ground based laser weapon at full power in film Deadly Skies (2006). Features an asteroid the size of Texas. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Deadly Skies (2006). TV movie. An astronomer tracks a number of meteoroid strikes to an asteroid the size of Texas which has been knocked onto a collision course with Earth by another rogue asteroid. An ex-Air Force Major resurrects an aborted secret ground-based laser weapon to deflect it.

Watch Uncut | Watch Cut


Scene on the beach as the tsunami approaches in the film Deep Impact (1998). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Deep Impact (1998). Movie about a comet heading for Earth, a failed nuclear intercept mission, and a lottery to decide which citizens will be allotted shelter in underground bunkers before the comet fragments impact. Told largely from the viewpoint of a reporter on a US TV news network, who chooses beach over bunker when the tsunami strikes.

Watch


Don’t Look Up! (due for release on Netflix late 2020). Movie. Two astronomers discover that an asteroid is on course to hit Earth in six months’ time but no-one believes them (a hazard of the job with this movie genre). They decide to embark on a massive media tour to get people’s attention.

Press Release


Scene from film Doomsday Rock (1997) aka Cosmic Shock (1997) where the astrophysicist's daughter explains the cave paintings, in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Doomsday Rock (1997) aka Cosmic Shock (1997). TV movie. An astrophysicist-anthropologist takes over a military missile silo to try to intercept an asteroid he believes will collide with Earth based on a prediction he discovered in a series of ancient Aboriginal cave paintings. The authorities approach his daughter to try and stop him. But his predictions turn out to be correct.

Watch


Scene showing incoming asteroids and meteors from film Earthfall (2015).

Earthfall (2015). TV movie. A close gravitational encounter with a rogue planet travelling at 300,000 miles per hour drastically changes Earth’s tilt, rotation and orbit. Half the planet is plunged into perpetual night, the other half into perpetual day. A group of civilians stumble upon a secret Government facility that is working on a nuclear mitigation plan which will either restore Earth’s orbit around the Sun, or end things for good.

Trailer | Watch


Two scientists look at Moon in control room scene in Earth Storm (2006). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Earth Storm (2006). TV movie. When the Moon is struck by an asteroid, a fragment breaks off and impacts Earth. The unstable Moon creates major disruption to Earth’s weather and tides. Now a massive fault poses the risk of even larger lunar fragments hitting Earth with devastating consequences. A demolition specialist is sent to implode the Moon using an unproven EM pulse machine to recharge the magnetic field being generated in the core and close up the fault.

Trailer | Watch


Scene in cave with meteorite in film Evolution (2001), in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Evolution (2001). Comedy movie about a meteorite impact in the Arizona desert that contains the building blocks of alien life which goes through exponential evolution of hundreds of millions of years in a matter of days. Two college professors try to find out what is going on to the annoyance of the military.

Trailer | Watch


Laser weapon scene from film Force of Impact (2006) aka Deadly Skies (2006) aka Ultimate Limit (2006) about an asteroid the size of Texas.

Force of Impact (2006) aka Ultimate Limit (2006). TV movie. An astronomer tracks a number of meteoroid strikes to an asteroid the size of Texas which has been knocked onto a collision course with Earth by another rogue asteroid. An ex-Air Force Major resurrects an aborted secret ground-based laser weapon to deflect it.

Watch Cut | Watch Uncut


Scene showing launch of garbage ball in Futurama A Big Piece of Garbage (1999).

Futurama: “A Big Piece of Garbage” (1999). Animated TV sitcom [S1, Ep 8]. Spoof of Armageddon (1998). Earth is in the path of a giant ball of garbage from Old New York launched into space by the mob in the 21st Century. An attempt to plant a bomb into a fault line fails, so a second ball of garbage is launched to deflect it.

Watch


Futureshock Comet Impact (2007) aka Impact Earth (2008). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Futureshock: Comet Impact (2007) aka Impact Earth (2008). TV movie. A comet impacts off the coast of Ireland creating a devastating tsunami. The astronomer who failed to detect it receives NASA funding to develop a reliable NEO observation program. He discovers the comet was part of a chain that will strike the USA in a K-T size event. The military plan a nuclear deflection, the astronomer warns against it and the world goes into economic meltdown in anticipation.

Trailers


Gorath movie (1962) South Pole construction site, in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth, in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Gorath (1962). Japanese Movie. Not an asteroid, but what turns out to be a collapsed star, threatens to destroy Earth in a gravitational collision. In a global collaboration, massive rocket thrusters are installed at the South Pole to move Earth out of its path – and then move it back when the object has passed. Environmental catastrophes and a monstrous walrus momentarily threaten the success of the ambitious project.

Trailer | Watch


Greenland (2020). STX Entertainment. Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! Every asteroid and comet disaster movie ever made rolled into one.

Greenland (2020). Movie. An interstellar comet named Clarke is on course to impact the Earth. When the first fragment strikes, Florida is wiped off the map. On discovering that military flights are being tracked to an underground bunker in Greenland, a man sets off with his family to find safety in the bunker and escape what is predicted will be an extinction level event as further fragments hit.

Trailer


Hell's Rain (2007). Credit: PorchLight Entertainment. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Hell’s Rain (2007) aka Anna’s Storm. (2007). TV movie. The town of Cottonwood, Colorado is caught up in a meteor storm that rains debris down across the state without warning. Residents struggle to survive the meteorite falls and as the Mayor tries to calm the residents, she receives psychic messages from her dead son. The meteorites are just the precursor to a larger asteroid threat.

Trailer | Watch


Scene looking down on Earth from film Hope (2016). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Hope (2016). Six minute film. A lone scientist believes that the Earth will be destroyed in a series of catastrophic asteroid impacts. No-one believes him so he builds his own space station, Hope, to use as an ark to preserve hundreds of specimens of life on Earth, then watches alone from space as the asteroid fragments rain down below.

Watch


Scene showing meteorite splitting in two (hot and cold) in film Icetastrophe (2014). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Icetastrophe (2014). TV movie. A meteoroid enters Earth’s atmosphere and splits in two. A small hot fragment impacts in the mountains and a larger icy fragment strikes the town of Lennox where a flash freeze icetastrophe ensues. Only by bringing the two meteorites back together can the balance of nature be restored.

Watch | DVD


Scene from film Impact (2008) as two astronauts dive into the fault on the Moon to map the fissure. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Impact (2008). Movie. While the Earth is in the path of spectacular meteor shower, a brown dwarf impacts the Moon setting off a series of extreme electromagnetic and gravitational events on Earth. Now the increased mass is pulling the Earth onto a collision course with the Moon. Two civilian scientists are sent to the Moon to eject the object.

Watch


Futureshock Comet Impact (Impact Earth) (2007).

Impact Earth (2008) see Futureshock: Comet Impact (2007).


Scene from the film Impact Earth (2015) showing computer screen and trajectory changing. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Impact Earth (2015). TV movie. A student discovers an asteroid on a collision course with Earth and tells her supervisor, a disgraced former NASA asteroid tracker. But no-one else believes that the threat is real, so she publishes a video warning to the world. When the military realise the threat is real they plan to nuke the rock. Meanwhile from an underground shelter a game of space billiards ensues as she reprograms a satellite to strike a smaller meteoroid into the path of the incoming asteroid to deflect it.

Trailer (English)


Mission to destroy an asteroid in Judgment Day (1999).

Judgment Day (1999). Movie. A small asteroid destroys a village in Bolivia but a second one a thousand times larger is due to arrive within days. Unfortunately, the Government scientist who designed the only weapon capable of preventing the impact has been kidnapped by a delusional cult leader. A dangerous criminal who knows his whereabouts is released from prison to assist the FBI track him down.

Trailer | DVD


La Fin Du Monde movie poster (The End of the World).

La Fin du Monde (1931). Movie. A wealthy gentleman astronomer detects that on its next passage by Earth, Lexell’s Comet will most likely strike and the world will end in 114 days. Acquiring a newspaper and radio station, he announces the event to the world, causing the global economy to collapse and the world to descend into chaos. The astronomer is accused of creating a hoax to destroy the economy – until the comet comes into view. Although it passes safely by, the world has already been devastated by the global panic.

Read


Scene showing close approach of rogue planet with Earth from film Melancholia (2011). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Melancholia (2011). Movie. Not an asteroid but a previously undetected rogue planet called Melancholia enters the Solar System from behind the Sun, making a close approach and ultimately colliding with the Earth. The film follows the strained relationship between two sisters, who shelter in a magic cave when the planet collides with Earth.

Trailer | Watch


Scene from Meteor (1979) in the control room bunker under AT&T New York, in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Meteor (1979). Movie. A main belt asteroid is struck by a comet, deflecting it towards Earth. It will hit within a week. The force of impact will be ten orders of magnitude larger than the largest earthquake ever recorded. The US and Russia must first admit to owning space-based nuclear weapons, and then combine their stockpiles if there is to be any hope of preventing the catastrophe. Operations are controlled from a bunker beneath AT&T New York.

Watch


Scene from Meteor (2009) showing two meteoroids approaching Earth. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Meteor (2009). Two part TV movie. A collision in the asteroid belt with a passing comet splits asteroid 114 Kassandra in two and puts it on a collision course with Earth. While the emergency Task Force plans the missile interventions, a lone astronomer on the road to the command center has to find a way to transmit the data they need, while all forms of communication are being taken out by the meteor storm.

Watch


Scene from film showing incoming meteors in Meteor Apocalypse (2010). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Meteor Apocalypse (2010). TV movie. A comet on a collision course with Earth is intercepted by a global nuclear intervention. But the fragments raining down on Earth contaminate the groundwater and poison the population. One man with a possible antidote is on a cross-state journey to find his family and administer the antidote.

Watch


Homemade rocket impacting incoming asteroid in Asteroid Final Impact (2015) aka Meteor Assault (2015).

Meteor Assault (2015) see Asteroid: Final Impact (2015).


Scene from film Meteorites (1998) picking up a rock from a crater. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Meteorites! (1998). TV movie. Just as the small town of Leroy is about to hold its lucrative annual UFO Festival, it is battered by a series of massive meteorite strikes as Earth passes through some cometary debris. People believe that aliens landed in Leroy back in the 1950’s and the town’s Mayor refuses to cancel the festival, meteorites or no meteorites!

Watch


Scene showing meteor punching hole through Golden Gate Bridge in film Meteor Storm (2010). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Meteor Storm (2010). TV movie. Millions of years ago a dense meteorite composed of element 120 Unbinilium impacted into what is now the San Francisco bay. Now it is altering the paths of near Earth objects. The passage of a comet creates an intense meteor storm on San Francisco and perturbs the orbit of asteroid Apophis onto a collision course with Earth. A nuclear intervention succeeds.

Watch


Scene showing the silo bunker where survivors lived for 10 years after the impact in Mutant World (2014). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Mutant World (2014). Movie. A doomsday prepper discovers that an asteroid will impact Earth in a potentially apocalyptic event and there’s a nuclear reactor at the impact site. A group takes shelter in a former missile silo. Ten years later they venture outside to find that anyone who was exposed to the radiation becomes a mutant cannibal after dark. The first 7 minutes is about the impact; the rest of the movie is about mutants.

Watch


Scene from Night of the Comet (1984) showing the red haze and piles of dust in a deserted street. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Night of the Comet (1984). Comedy horror movie. A teenage girl spends the evening in the projection room at a cinema with her boyfriend while the world watches a comet that is returning after 65 million years. They emerge the next day to a red haze and find that those who were not reduced to piles of red dust are now zombies. I’ve only included this for the title.

Trailer | Watch


Meteor explosion over the city in One Punch Man The Ultimate Disciple (2015). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

One-Punch Man: “The Ultimate Disciple” (2015). Anime episode [S1, Ep.7]. Superheroes Genos and Metal Knight fail to destroy a meteor on a collision course with City-Z. Superhero Saitama destroys it in one punch but it fragments and devastates the city anyway.

Watch


View of the city with the magnetic reversal in progress in Polar Storm (2009). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Polar Storm (2009). Movie. A fragment of comet Copernicus impacts Earth and knocks it off its axis. A geomagnetic reversal follows, but when the magnetic field declines to zero the solar wind will strip away Earth’s atmosphere. A quarter of a million people perish in the impact and now all life on Earth is threatened by the reversal. With two days to go, only one scientist knows how to realign the poles using some strategically placed nuclear weapons.

Trailer | Watch


View from space showing the microwave beam power station satellite over Earth in Post Impact (2004). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Post Impact (2004). Movie. The Earth is in the aftermath of a massive comet impact. Most of the northern hemisphere has been plunged into an ice age as a result of the atmospheric dust. An experimental microwave-beam power station satellite, secretly designed as a lethal weapon, is the key to Earth’s future. But whoever gains control of the satellite gains control of the planet.

Trailer | Watch


Scene from Salvation (2017) as they try and make the prototype design of the EM drive work. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Salvation (2017–18). TV drama series. An MIT student discovers an asteroid on a collision course with Earth that will impact in six months’ time causing an extinction level event. He approaches a power-hungry tech giant scientist who tries to save the world with money he doesn’t quite have, radioactive material he can’t legally get and technology that doesn’t quite exist. This story throws everything you can think of about asteroid mitigation at you. And, yes, there’s a fated reporter on the trail.

Trailer S1 | Watch S1 & S2


Standing on the beach in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012). Romcom movie. Asteroid Mathilde will impact the Earth in three weeks’ time. Two characters embark on a roadtrip, one to find his high school sweetheart and the other to find her family. It’s a lighthearted Melancholia.

Trailer | Watch


Weapon to destroy asteroid shown in blue from Sliders Last Days (1995). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Sliders: “Last Days” (1995). TV series episode [S1, Ep 3]. The sliders team arrive on an alternate Earth two days before a predicted asteroid impact and three days before their next slide. Nuclear weapons have never been invented so they have to get to work inventing the atom bomb to deflect the asteroid before it’s too late.

Watch


Asteroid having passed through Earth using the hyper drive in Stargate SG-1 - Fail Safe (2002). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Stargate SG-1: “Fail Safe” (2002). TV Series episode [S5, Ep 17]. A Goa’uld diverts an asteroid onto a collision course with Earth. The Stargate team is dispatched to prevent the catastrophe. Preparing to launch a missile to destroy the asteroid, they detect a high concentration of the rare, super-dense mineral Naquadah inside. They use the hyperdrive to jump the asteroid past Earth.

Watch


Scene showing the devastation of Buenos Aires after the arachnid asteroid attack in Starship Troopers (1997). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Starship Troopers (1997). Film based on the 1959 novel by Robert A. Heinlein. The war with the alien arachnids is instigated when they launch an asteroid at Earth, wiping out Buenos Aires and killing in excess of 9 million people.

Watch


Police stand next to a large crater in the middle of the road in Stonados (2013). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Stonado (2013). Movie. So it’s not about asteroids, comets or even meteorites, but huge boulders being ripped up from the sea floor by a series of massive tornados and then launched back to impact the Earth. Boston is the target for the destruction. The solution is to heat up the atmosphere with a high altitude explosion using one of the tornados as an elevator for the bomb.

Watch


Scene from The Cusp (1996) as an astronaut space walks to the asteroid. In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Cusp (1996). A movie about asteroid mining and environmental extremists set in the not too distant future. An asteroid that is being nudged by a spacecraft into a lunar Trojan orbit is coming in too fast for Earth capture. The one remaining crew member has to skim it off the top of Earth’s atmosphere and back out into space before it’s too late.

Watch


Meteor shower over a lighthouse in The Day of the Triffids (1961). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Day of the Triffids (1962, 1981, 2008). Movie and two TV Series. Not an impact movie, but there is a meteor shower and being a classic I’ve included it. A spectacular meteor event blinds everyone who sees it and disperses spores around the globe that grow into carnivorous triffid plants. In the early version, salt water destroys the triffids; in the later version, it’s genetic engineering.

Watch (1962) | Watch (1981) | Watch (2008)


Scene showing thousands of missiles heading for the asteroid cluster in The Day The Sky Exploded (1958). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Day the Sky Exploded (1958). Italy’s first sci-fi movie (English dubbed). When the engine of a manned mission to the Moon malfunctions, it explodes in a region of near-Earth asteroids. Thousands of asteroids form a giant cluster which is now heading straight for Earth. The world’s entire stockpile of nuclear missiles is launched to destroy the cluster.

Watch


Scene showing meteors impacting the town in The End of the World (1916). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The End of the World (1916) aka The Flaming Sword (1916). Silent movie. A new comet is discovered that will enter Earth’s atmosphere and cause destruction and economic disaster in north west Europe. Danish movie made in the aftermath of the panic that preceded the 1910 apparition of Halley’s Comet made worse by sudden appearance of The Great Daylight Comet of 1910 which stole Halley’s thunder three months earlier.

Watch (Danish Film Institute) | Watch (Amazon)


Astronaut on asteroid inspecting green slime on equipment in The Green Slime (1968). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Green Slime (1968). Movie. A team of scientists are dispatched from an orbiting space station to plant a bomb on the surface of an asteroid that is on course to impact the Earth. They find it inhabited by a green slime, some of which is inadvertently brought back to the space station and evolves into a host of one-eyed tentacled aliens.

Watch


Fighter jet pilot in cockpit with bright missile in the distance in The Lost Missile (1958). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Lost Missile (1958). Movie. An unidentified missile-like object from space is heading towards Earth. A foiled attempt to blow it up sets it on course to destroy New York and Ottawa. Ottawa is destroyed. A revolutionary rocket is launched just in time and the missile is destroyed, saving New York.

Watch


Scene showing the rock monoliths being destroyed in saltwater in The Monolith Monsters (1957). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Monolith Monsters (1957). Movie. A large meteorite impacts and breaks up in the Southern Californian desert. When exposed to water, the fragments grow into massive stone monoliths that petrify (literally) the inhabitants of a nearby town. A geologist realises that salt water destroys the monoliths. To generate enough of it, he blows up the local dam and floods the nearby salt flats.

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Scene showing news anchor Brooks Alvarez in front of countdown screen in The Onion News Network Asteroid Heads To Earth (2011). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Onion News Network: “Asteroid Heads to Earth” (2011). TV news comedy episode [S2, Ep 1]. The news on 5 October 2011 is that all life on Earth will come to an end when a massive asteroid strikes in less than half an hour. There is live coverage right up to the moment the news studio is struck by the asteroid.

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Scene showing K67 exploding over a house in The Sarah Jane Adventures Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane (2007). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Sarah Jane Adventures: “Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?” (2007). Two part episode [S1, Ep 7–8] of a children’s TV show. Meteoroid K67 is on a collision course with Earth but no-one knows because it is coming through a radar blind spot. When in range, Sarah Jane will use her alien computer, Mr Smith, to create a magnetic pulse and deflect it back into space. But only after other time-travel adventures take place across the decades in between.

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Scene showing man looking out of window at beach as firestorm arrives in These Final Hours (2013). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

These Final Hours (2013). Movie. Ten minutes after an asteroid has struck in the North Atlantic Ocean, a global firestorm is gradually ravaging the Earth. There are 12 hours until it reaches Western Australia. In Perth, one man attempts to use his final hours to help a child find her father. At the end, with no escape, the only choice is to watch from the beach as the firestorm arrives.

Trailer | Watch


Scene showing Bart next to a telescope from the TV episode The Simpsons Bart's Comet (1995). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Simpsons: “Bart’s Comet” (1995). Animated TV series episode [S6, Ep 14]. While in detention with Principal Skinner, Bart discovers a comet heading for Earth and straight for Springfield. A misguided rocket invention destroys the only bridge out of town and as the residents of Springfield sing Que Será Será, the comet breaks up in the atmosphere and Bart bags a meteorite. The episode first aired on 5 February 1995, influenced by the events surrounding Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 that broke apart under the gravitational influence of Jupiter, colliding with it in July 1994.

Watch | Watch US


Scene showing massive comet and debris field approaching Earth from space in the documentary The Super Comet (2007). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The Super Comet (2007). Two-part dramatised documentary which is utterly brilliant and deeply impactful (pun intended). A hypothesised future history of planet Earth after a comet strikes in the Yucatán Peninsula today, near to where an impact 65 million years ago caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Discussed by renowned expert scientists with dramatized scenes following different groups of survivors in different parts of the world in the aftermath of the impact.

Trailer | Part 1 | Part 2


Scene showing POTUS looking solemnly at document in The West Wing Impact Winder (2004). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

The West Wing: “Impact Winter” (2004). TV series episode [S6, Ep 9]. The White House staff prepare for the possible impact of a 400m wide asteroid that could hit the northern hemisphere in 46 hours. POTUS weighs up the impact scenarios: obliterating a city would be better than an impact in the Pacific Ocean for damage containment. The asteroid misses Earth by 73,000 miles.

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Scene showing asteroid exploding in the film Tik Tik Tik (2018). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Tik Tik Tik (2018). Movie. An Indian Shuttle crew is sent with an onboard missile to destroy an asteroid which is on course to impact the Earth. They are kidnapped by the captain of a Chinese space station who attempts to steal the missile and use it to destroy India and get lucrative rebuilding contracts. One of the Shuttle crew is a trained magician and escape artist who manages to free the crew and launch the missile at the asteroid to prevent the catastrophe.

Trailer | Title Track Video


Scene showing massive incoming meteor over desert mountains in film Total Eclipse (2008). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Total Eclipse (2008). Movie. As hundreds of small meteoroids bombard the Earth, an orbiting space station is knocked onto a collision course with Earth. With a thermonuclear reactor on board, if blown up before impact, it will shower the Earth with radioactive material; if it impacts, much of California will be uninhabitable for a thousand years. Now it seems the fate of the space station has been part of a clandestine plan to get a vetoed Missile Defense Renewal Act reinstated.

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Woman looking scared up at sky in Before The Fall (2008) aka Tres Dias (2008), in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Tres Días (2008) see Before the Fall (2008).


Scene showing incoming meteors in NY in Tycus (1999). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Tycus (1999). Movie. A reporter learns of a secret nuclear missile bunker in the Sierra mountains and goes to investigate. He learns that a comet is on course to impact the Moon which will in turn affect all life on Earth. A multi-millionaire is planning a mitigation attempt from the underground bunker and offering shelter to a select few should the comet deflection attempt fail, which it does. Every major city in the world is struck by incoming boulders. Expect tidal waves, earthquakes, fires and floods.

Trailer | Watch


Laser weapon scene from film Force of Impact (2006) aka Deadly Skies (2006) aka Ultimate Limit (2006). It's an asteroid the size of Texas. In a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Ultimate Limit (2006) see Force of Impact (2006) and Deadly Skies (2006).


Scene in the outback with man looking up at incoming meteor from Undead (2003). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Undead (2003). Movie. An influx of meteorite strikes turn the inhabitants of the small Australian town of Berkeley into zombies. Then aliens start abducting other residents. Acid rain falls from the sky which turns out to be the antidote for the zombie infection. It seems the aliens only arrived to keep the infection delivered in the meteorites from spreading.

Trailer | DVD


Scene inside spaceship to three pensive astronauts in film Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965), in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965). Movie. It’s 2020 and a spacecraft on a mission to investigate the prospect of colonising Venus is struck by an asteroid. OK, it’s not about an impact on Earth and is only included as an example of confusing the terms asteroids and meteorites.

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Scene showing Pairans and in human form from Warning From Space (1956). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Warning from Space (1956). Movie about a rogue planet, Planet R, which is on course to collide with Earth. A technologically advanced race of starfish-like beings from planet Paira, which co-orbits with Earth on the other side of the Sun, visits Japan to warn the Earth and join forces to stop the annihilation of their respective planets.

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Scene showing the Ark taking off from Earth on a rail launch in the film When Worlds Collide (1951). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

When Worlds Collide (1951). Movie not about an asteroid or comet, but a rogue star, Bellus and its planetary companion, Zira. With Bellus on a direct collision course with Earth, a lottery is held to decide which personnel working on building a space ark will be allotted seats to go and start a new colony on the safety of planet Zira. Told largely from the viewpoint of those working on the ark. This is the movie that inspired Deep Impact (1998).

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Scene showing news anchor and image of asteroid in movie Without Warning (1994). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Without Warning (1994). Mockumentary movie delivered as a news network report. Three spatially synchronized asteroid impacts into uninhabited regions on Earth turn out to be a form of extraterrestrial contact based on symbols sent out on the Pioneer 11 spacecraft. When Earth launches a nuclear retaliation, it comes under siege by hundreds more impacts on major cities around the globe. Segments of the alien message are delivered by survivors of two of the impact sites, citing what seems to be part of the recorded message sent out on the Voyager spacecraft.

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Scene showing three wizards in dalmation spacesuits in TV episode Wizards of Waverly Place Wizards vs Asteroid (2011) in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Wizards of Waverly Place: “Wizards vs Asteroid” (2011). TV series episode [S4, Ep 17]. When the Russo family of wizards, who live above a sandwich shop in Greenwich Village, hear about the failed attempt to destroy a giant asteroid hurtling towards Earth, they change their minds about taking a portal to shelter in the wizard world and instead go into space to reactivate the missile that failed to detonate.

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Scene showing Rob Lowe and others in You, Me and the Apocalypse (2015) in a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

You, Me and the Apocalypse (2015). TV oddball comedy series. An attempt to deflect a comet out of its collisional trajectory with Earth fails and it will impact in 34 days. This 10 episode series counts down the event, following the lives of a diverse group of unconnected individuals around the world who all end up sheltering in a bunker under the UK town of Slough as they watch the end of the world unfold on TV.

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Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014) aka Apocalypse Tomorrow (2014). In blog Making an Impact: Lights, Camera and Asteroid! a blog which is about asteroid impacts and comet impacts on Earth.

Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014) aka Apocalypse Tomorrow (2014). When an ancient astrological rock carving is uncovered in a Peruvian mine, a wave of unprecedented natural disasters are set in motion around the globe. Depicting twelve events associated with the signs of the zodiac, the final event on the carving marks the return of a long-period planet, the effect of which will destroy Earth. A scientist overcomes floods, fireballs, volcanic fury and Feds to reunite the carving with a radioactive stone that activates an energy field to shield the world from destruction.

Watch | Watch (US)


Lights, Camera and Asteroid! That’s a wrap.

TL;DR: Try the abridged version.

Don’t forget, it’s always Asteroid Day on 30 June.

Fair Use Notice: All images used in this post have been carefully chosen to support the commentary. I believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material, but suffice to say, if any film company or network would prefer the image to be removed, just let me know.