Meet the real NASA scientist behind Netflix’s Don’t Look Up

meet the real nasa scientist behind netflix’s don’t look up

Amy Mainzer attends the “Don’t Look Up” World Premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on December 05, 2021 in New York City. | Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Netflix

In Netflix’s new star-studded space comedy Don’t Look Up, scientists scramble to save the world from a “planet-killer.” In the movie, it’s a comet. In the real world, humans are more likely to conjure up the vehicle of our demise all on our own, whether it’s through climate change or the patriarchy. The movie gets into those thorny themes, too.

It opens with a scene in which a grad student played by Jennifer Lawrence discovers the comet, something real-world NASA astronomer Amy Mainzer has experience with. Just last year, Mainzer and her team discovered the brightest comet in the northern hemisphere in more than two decades, called NEOWISE. To flesh out Lawrence’s character and the other scientists in the film — and bring some real…

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