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Batman v Superman: Capturing the cosmos

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This week, as Batman v Superman is released, another even-more-amazing cinematic experience is hitting Australia.

It’s called Capturing the Cosmos. It’s narrated by Geoffrey Rush, produced by the Melbourne Planetarium and all-sky astrophysics mob CAASTRO, and it’s AMAZING!

If you ever wanted to sit back and be gob-smacked and entertained and inspired and made-more-intelligent (I certainly felt more intelligent after watching!), then roll up to your local Planetarium and enjoy. It’s recommended for young and old and runs through all the amazing science happening in Australia as we try to understand the universe and our place in it.

But what about Superman?

A good question.

Since Aussie astronomers are tackling the big questions of the universe, I felt they might also have an opinion about Superman’s secret alien powers.

Below is the result of my chat with the fabulous astrophysicist Danail Obreschkow, who brought his imagination and creativity to the job of leveling the superhero playing field.

This article appeared first in ScienceNetwork WA…I hope you enjoy it!

Batman v Superman: who would really win?

By Cristy Burne

Son of Krypton meets bat of Gotham in cinemas this week, but is it really fair?

After all, Batman is just a guy with fancy gadgets, while Superman is faster than a speeding bullet—and he can fly.

Okay, so Batman can supposedly glide down from distant rooftops, but even with a rigid 4.5m cape (think Batman Begins), gliding has been mathematically proven to be a painful way to travel.

This clearly puts Superman at a massive—and unfair—advantage.

While the Dark Knight is powered by science, technology and billions of dollars (spoiler alert: Bruce Wayne is his—ahem—close friend), Superman is backed by alien superpowers.

The boy in blue can lift rockets and leap tall buildings in a single bound: he’s obviously tapped into something awesome.

But what is Superman’s secret?

DanailObreschkowInternational Centre for Radio Astronomy Research astrophysicist Danail Obreschkow —with tongue firmly in cheek—says the source of Superman’s power may be the most powerful energy of all, dark energy.

“[Dark energy is] the name for the unknown force that makes the universe expand,” Danail says.

Dark energy is the driver for the overall evolution of space-time, so it’s imaginable that if Superman can release dark energy all by himself, then he might be able to create his own little expanding space around him.

“He’d then be suspended in this extra space, and he could use it to propel towards stuff and away from stuff and travel as quickly as he wants…It’s imaginable,” he says, with a laugh.

If Superman really is channelling dark energy, is there any hope for Batman?

“It’d be pretty tough to fight someone who controls dark energy, I’ve got to tell you,” Danail says.

But, he says Batman could have a fighting chance against Superman if he used an antimatter device.

“An antimatter device, that would be very powerful, and, in principal, possible,” he says.

“When you bring matter and antimatter together, the two converge into very powerful radiation.”

And Superman, of course, has a soft spot for radiation (remember kryptonite?).

So who is Danail backing in the battle of the capes?

“Batman, because he is an actual human. We could all potentially become like him if we invested enough brain power into science,” he says.

Author: cristyburne


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