Neil deGrasse Tyson: How To Destroy a Planet

Can a person blow up a planet as depicted in “Star Wars”? That was a question posed to Neil deGrasse Tyson on his podcast “StarTalk Radio.”


To wrap up “StarTalk’s” fifth season, Tyson compiled a few “Time Capsule” episodes, which capture the best of “StarTalk.” In “Season 5 Time Capsule (Part 2),” Tyson reexamines fan favorite questions from the previous season; the questions range from “what is gravity?” to queries about time travel.

One of the best questions and responses (as pointed out by Raw Story) was posed to Tyson and comedian Eugene Mirman: “In the movie “Star Wars,“ we see the Death Star blow up the planet Alderaan. Setting aside the question of how a thing would be possible, what would happen to our solar system if the Empire blew up, say, Mars?”

Tyson’s response (which can be heard at the 34-minute mark) explains both how to blow up a planet (“physics 102″), and what would happen to our planet if Mars were blown to smithereens (we’d lose the Curiosity Rover).

“Now you have a device that can pump that energy into your planet and have that planet absorb the energy, rather than have the energy come out the other side, it will completely destroy the planet to smithereens, entirely,” Tyson said. “So, that’s how one would go about it.”

Listen to the entire episode, which features everyone from Colin Jost to Bill Nye, below or at StarTalk:

#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.