Could the Death Star actually blow up a planet?

11 Jan 2016

Let’s be honest, it’s not really much of a surprise that the Death Star ship from Star Wars is not exactly scientifically accurate, but the real science behind it is actually even more terrifying.

If you’re like many others around the world, you’re probably still experiencing a Star Wars hangover like no other after being bombarded with the film, articles and all the merchandise that comes with it, but spare a minute for this mind-boggling hypothetical question: what if the Death Star was real?

Or, more importantly, how much energy would someone actually need to blow up an Earth-sized planet?

As we hear from YouTuber Scott Manley – who is both a gamer and avid science communicator – there’s been a lot of genuine scientific research into the actual possibility of a Death Star-like space station.

As you’ll see in Manley’s video, previous research papers have shown that when it comes to obliterating Earth with pure energy, it would take the equivalent of 225m trillion trillion Joules of energy to blow us up into cosmic dust.

So could the Death Star produce this much planet-killing energy, well, check out the video and see.

Exploding planet image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic