Fictions in Facts

Astronomy kinestoscope

Mónica Medeiros


Fiction in Facts responds to the challenge of promoting literacy in astronomy proposed by the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences. With the objective of communicating complex themes to diversified audiences, it finds in Science Fiction a possible point of contact with science, assuming that fiction can be elaborated on the basis of scientific innovations. Based on this assumption, this project explores the potential of science fiction to communicate astronomy.


Taking on scientific content such as the composition of galaxies, gravity, types of matter, planets, asteroids, comets, stars and energy, the project collects scenes of science fiction films that deal with these topics. These movie scenes are the starting point for explaining astronomy phenomena by confronting scientific facts with the way fiction is built around them. The project takes the form of a web page that simulates a journey through astronomy through cinema, by exploring topics such as “Stars also have life cycles,” “There are over 100 billion galaxies beyond ours,” and “Solar activity can disturb the Earth’s magnetic field.” Infographics, images, and short excerpts from the films are articulated in the creation of a narrative that ranges from the outside of a galaxy to the energy of a star.


In this way, the idea of a kinetoscope is evoked as a film-viewing instrument that allows the observation of a sequence of animated images through a small hole. Through this animation, the user has access to information about phenomena of astronomy portrayed in the films, which are often hidden or diluted with fiction.


science fiction