How Much Power Do You Need To Destroy A Planet?
Remember when Darth Vader used the Death Star to blow up Princess Leia's home planet of Alderaan in the original Star Wars movie? I got to wondering about this the other day. In particular I was wondering if the Death Star would be big enough to generate the required energy. I'm thinking we could use microwave radiation to heat the interior of the planet to the point that it would boil and then vaporize. Who knows why this returned to my attention tonight, but it did. A little surfing turned up a story on Science Alert that features a video by Scott Manley (above) and an article in Popular Mechanics that offers a selection of ideas on how the job might be accomplished. I like Manley's explanation best, mostly because he put together this cool video.
Manley has graced these pages before.