November’s wonderful Leonid meteor shower is active from about November 6 to 30 each year. The peak is expected in 2020 on the morning of November 17. The shower happens as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. Like many comets, Tempel-Tuttle litters its orbit with bits of debris. It’s when this cometary debris enters Earth’s atmosphere and vaporizes that we see the Leonid meteor shower. In 2020, the moon – in a waxing crescent phase – will set in early evening, to provide moon-free skies after midnight when the most meteors typically fall. In a dark sky, with no moon, you can see up to 10 to 15 meteors per hour at the peak.
We were inspired to share movies that are out of this world to honor these meteors and remember no matter how much is going on in this earth, there is a whole galaxy full of life, magic and wonder happening right above us. We hope this list of 25 of the best Space Movies fills you with insight and possibility. Below are a few of our favorites from the list.
The Fifth Element was released in 1997, and it would still be ahead of its time if it came out today. It’s a fantastical depiction of the future that never loses sight of the essential absurdity of human beings and the societies we create.
Interstellar brought me on an emotional voyage unlike anything I’ve felt before. I saw it three times in IMAX over the first few weeks of its release because I may never again come so close to experiencing the sensation of traveling through space and time.
An original sci-fi movie with top-of-the-line movie stars and a cameo from Gore Vidal. Remember when that was possible? Gattaca is a story about the dangers of eugenics centered on three objectively genetically blessed white people, but once you get past that minor hurdle, Andrew Niccol’s 1997 feature is the best kind of thought experiment — pointed and human-scale in a way that encourages us to emotionally invest in its hypotheticals.
Wall-E is the most experimental and audacious film Pixar has ever made. As far as animated movies for kids go, this one stands out for having the most socially responsible message since FernGully, its use of live action actors in quick-cut scenes, and essentially being a silent film for the entire first half. Wall-E poetically issues a stern warning about the consequences of society’s blatant disregard for the planet and our increased dependence on automation and technology while sending a ray of hope via the uncompromising spirit of life.
Apollo 13 is the least existential space movie ever made, and that’s probably why it’s the most rewatchable one. It is a love letter to American ingenuity and a testament to the charms of Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon being trapped in a flying thimble together. It also features one of the great exhale crescendos in blockbuster history. It’s easy to tell a story where everything that can go wrong does go wrong, but this is a movie where everything goes right.
To see complete list and descriptions, visit 25 of the best Space Movies
We are looking up for brighter days ahead. We miss seeing you all and wish health and safety to the entire community.