"Interstellar": Most realistic science fiction film?

Movie vs. science: Neil deGrasse Tyson on "In... 05:02

Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is being hailed as one of the most realistic science fiction films ever thanks to carefully crafted visual effects and a heavily scrutinized storyline.

Nevertheless, with its depiction of wormhole travel, investigation of black holes and portrayal of relativity, audience members inside and out the field of science wondered about accuracy.

"Well, they are going through a wormhole to another part of the galaxy, so it's science fiction, alright?" Neil deGrasse Tyson said on "CBS This Morning."

But the astrophysicist, "Cosmos" host and director at the Hayden Planetarium in New York didn't dismiss the film entirely. Thanks to a stellar team of advisers including the film's executive producer, renowned theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, the writers mostly stuck to the books.

The science behind "Interstellar" 02:13

The film explores the possibilities of life beyond the Earth, on an exoplanet to be exact -- a planet located outside of our solar system. In the film, the group of space travelers use a wormhole, the hypothetical area of warped spacetime, as a portal to another galaxy.

While scientists have yet to determine exactly how to create a wormhole or manipulate the immense forces that would make up a naturally occurring one, Tyson did affirm the computer-generated depictions.

"...it's a portal to another place in the galaxy," he said. "So you can use it in principle to travel great distances much faster than if you otherwise sort of took the detour."

While travel-by-wormhole may be theoretically possible, Tyson noted some of the film's depictions of black holes raised flags.

When the space travelers arrive at the planet, a nearby black hole they call Gargantua becomes a focus of their exploration. The astronauts realize the territory may not be so habitable when they come face-to-face with a massive tidal wave, the likes of which would never be seen on Earth. But on the exoplanet, the gravitational pull from Gargantua is so strong, its tidal bulge is exaggerated significantly.

"It turns out that if you're in orbit near a black hole which is what that planet was, there's very high tidal forces," Tyson said. "And so the way they portrayed it as this singular spike, that was a little hard for me, but there would be extremely high and exaggerated tides relative to anything we would experience on Earth."

In the 70mm IMAX projection booth with "Inter... 03:43

And while Tyson tweeted his concern over traveling so close to such a massive body of gravity, he approved of the film's extrapolation of its the gravitational and relativistic effects.

"If you're near a very strong source of gravity, from Einstein's relativity we know that time ticks more slowly for you than it would elsewhere," he said. "So if you're near a black hole weird things go on and they captured much of this in the film."