So ABC's V is here (episode two airs tonight), reminding us for the zillionth time that gigantic, mile(s)-wide flying saucers are THE conveyance of choice for any kind of alien visitors. (See: District 9, Independence Day, the original V, Alien Nation, Close Encounters...)
The trouble is, aside from providing an excuse for awesome "reveal" shots where the giant ship blots out the sun, it's actually a completely nonsensical way for extraterrestrials to make an entrance. Here are four reasons why huge-ass space discs would be a dumb idea in the real world:
1. We'd totally see them coming
In V, 29 massive ships suddenly appear in our airspace with nothing but a few minutes of ominous rumbling noises to tip everybody off. What, was everyone at NASA asleep for the last six months? Their Near Earth Object Program has a whole mess of telescopes dedicated to tracking space objects that might be headed for Earth, like the asteroid Apophis pictured above.
According to NEO chief Lindley Johnson, any bright object more than 1 kilometer across (and from the looks of things, the new V motherships appear to be between 1 and 3 km wide) will show up on their 'scopes before it even gets past Mars. (Granted, they're only looking for objects that follow natural orbits around the sun, but anything that big heading straight for us would surely stand out.) Assuming that real-world visitors wouldn't have any laws-of-physics-defying tricks up their sleeve (like faster-than-light travel or cloaking devices), we'd have at least a few months to prepare before they got close. Not so great for a sneak attack, or even a surprise visit.
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