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How to destroy a Planet, or 100% of the life forms on it

  1. Apr 9, 2017 #1
    I know, this question probably have asked many times, but I unable to post in that closed threads, so...

    We have a Planet, (let's say of size of the Earth, and that have a population of the Intelligent Creature - IC, on level of evolution and progress something near a mankind current level, so wee need to take into account the defensive possibilities of the particular population of IC, such as a very deep placed underground shelters, etc), We have a small Space Fleet (it is not the armada but it is not a recon squadron too).
    And in some crazy reason we have order to destroy this particular Planet in the worst case, or to exterminate the any existing life forms on this planet, this is including bacteria, etc.

    What kind of weapon we better need to use to "sterilize" this Planet?
    1. Biological
    2. Microrobots (Nano-organic stuff)
    3. Radiation
    4. Kinetic weapon / Climate (I mean use disruption in this planet surface to provoke ground shakes, volcano, water fluids etc)
    5. A combination
    6. Other variants
    What kind of weapon we better need to use to destroy (shred to the small pieces and split over the Star-System) this Planet?
    1. Matter/Antimatter
    2. Somekind of Gravity weapon (like a Black Hole)
    3. Ray/Beam like stuff
    4. Kinetic (Meteor/Neutron Star like)
    5. A combination
    6. Other variants
    What a more likely defensive measures of the Planet' IC population will be in the first case
    1. Consolidation, uniting into a single allience
    2. Separating, and trying to negotiation
    3. Attack by Nuclear Weapon, Matter/Antimatter, etc
    4. Trying to escaping to another nearest Planet that have suitable conditions
    5. A combination
    6. Other variants
    Thanx for the answers :) .
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2017 #2
  4. Apr 10, 2017 #3
    Target the extremeophiles. You'll get the "normal" critters easily.
  5. Apr 10, 2017 #4
    If you could devise a means to rob the offending planet of angular momentum, it's orbit will decay until it is eventually consumed by the host star.
    Should be OK in a Sci-Fi scenario, you can achieve this by stategically placing artificial micro black holes near to it.
  6. Apr 10, 2017 #5


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    So you've got a bunch ships that presumably can accelerate to a large fraction of the speed of light. Why not just use one as a kinetic impactor? Accelerate it fast enough, and even a small ship will do. As an added bonus, the target won't see the danger until just before it hits.
  7. Apr 10, 2017 #6
    Hit hard enough and the crust will ripple in an amazing fashion.
  8. Apr 11, 2017 #7
    • XZ923 - I have read it, I have took some thing into account, I will post it further. And the resource' outlook is awful.
    • Noisy Rhysling - No, the IC of the mankind level of the technological progress is well protected against "doomsday casualties" (such as full-scale Nuclear Armageddon, etc), yeah, perhaps destroying even the bacteria it is too much... :), your avatar remembering to me the 'Equilibrium' movie, despite I have not watched it.
    • ChrisVer - despite of your humor was fun, in particularly. There is no sense in applying such terms in this particular model, it is the same as trying to paint points in Thermodynamics that representing molecules of something. Intelligent Creature is enough, don't matter what 'ethnicity', 'color', 'religion' etc, of the particular groups of IC.
    • rootone - interesting, but it is depends how many time it will take, and how many energy is need for that, in addition a small fleet cannot "spread out energy", it have only weapons that focusing energy into a small volume of the Space-Time.
    • Algr - :) , but I am not understanding what is means "Expelled, starring Ben Stein".
    • Bandersnatch - This is a not just a bucket of the ships, this is a well organized, well trained, military purpose group that have created for a recon-like missions etc, they have pro-military equipment that designed along with a pilots to be ready for the any orders and troubles :P . Ships is not designed to act as a projectiles, or rockets, or bombs, and especially it is true for their pilots! And what next, the fast small projectile will just make a hole in the Planet, but wee need to destroy it. Besides even in Sci-Fi, is not enough to have a speed of light to reach a long distance stuff, we need to have something like "wormhole" - pew, 1 sec in your time, 1 sec far from your time, and you on the other side of Galaxy :)
    From what I have read, I still not have decided what a method will be most efficient.

    Extermination of the IC population: Well kinetic methods will work bad in this case - the IC will try to escape on the nearest planet, and/or will make a very durable shelters, that cannot be located or destroyed so easily. Or they just moves onto space-orbit around the Planet. And there we have a problem, if the order will be "exterminate" only IC, our forces must use something that will not make a huge harm to entire Planet. Biological agents, such as viruses will be ineffective in this case, coz' they can easily be countered by IC technologies.
    Probably a combined Nano-Cyber Organism will reach higher success in this case, but still we have a huge probability of the total failure.

    Any other variants?

    Destroying the entire Planet: In this case, we cannot place a lot of small "Black Holes" to change the orbit of the particular Planet, it is impossible for the small fleet. Perhaps the attack that have direct target a Nucleus of the Planet will have more success.

    But what a kind of attack will be most efficient?
  9. Apr 11, 2017 #8
    "Expelled" is a movie that espouses creationism. HG Wells once invited speculation on what three books would you use to create a new civilization. My joke is that with those three "books" would cause nuclear war and destroy life on the planet.
  10. Apr 11, 2017 #9
    Fun joke, thanx. But I have not watched this particular movie.
    Anyway, I am curious, what amount of energy is necessary to make sufficient damage to the metallic like nucleus of the Planet of the size of Earth?
  11. Apr 11, 2017 #10


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    Well, my first line was a joke, the kinetic methods was my answer.

    this is not what was given as input. Humanity is not in the stage to escape on any near planet.
    Also the scenario of them escaping can be dealt with easily by shooting them down as they try to escape.
    Durable shelters is not something that can be made after the disaster, it's something you have to have beforehand. The thing is that no matter what, the human power at the moment is unable to deal with natural disasters. Just the eruption of a few volcanoes can send the current human civilization back to the dark-ages... combine it with a lot of additional, controllable by you, natural disasters and you can easily send humans to extinction... now for the rest of life, chemical weapons are the best way... So meteors are also going to ensure the great victory (if they achieved a victory in the past, they can also do it again)- just don't rely on just one...

    I disagree with the blackholes, because your point is to eradicate the life off a planet and not erase the planet itself. A blackhole will eventually destroy the whole planet so you gain nothing. Using a blackhole is as an extreme method as using nuclear weapons in a war (not worth-it). It's the reason why I didn't say "send the moon to crash into earth".
  12. Apr 11, 2017 #11


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    Thread closed pending moderation.

    Edit: the thread will be reopened. Please keep replies on-topic.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  13. Apr 11, 2017 #12
    At last topic reopened, hooray ^^. Well, I know that ma' topic is more likely Sci-Fi than Astronomy, but still :)
    ChrisVer - of course not, and actually I am talking not excactly about humanity, just imaginable IC population on the imaginable Planet, the level of technical/cultural evolution of this population of IC is something near mankind. But if we gonna talk about mankind -

    1) Mankind is almost totally protected against any kinds of the Biological Warfare. If we gonna look into past for little bit, we can easily realize it, the greatest powers on that ever exist on the Earth - United States and Soviet Union during the Cold War, developed very successful technologies and strategies against Biological Threats. For an example in the US its called Nuclear Biological Chemical aka NBC, the simple military autonomous shelter is fully protected against any know Biological threats.

    2) Same with Chemical threats.

    3) If about shelter don't posted in the "New York Times", this is not means that this shelters does not exist. If ever have watched "Dr. Strangelove ..." by mr Kubrick, you can imagine how technologies has been improved from that times.

    4) And I think that the program of escaping to the Planet Mars, in case of "Doomsday" existing too.

    5) Civilization cannot be brought to the Dark Ages due mentioned by you obstacles, any utopia will be destroyed by guys that will survive in the shelter, they will be organized in the same government systems as you faced today. As for myself I placing my bets on United States, Soviet Union and China People Republic, along with the Kingdom of Great Britain - they are most powerful. So they obviously have a strategies and plans in case of such obstacles. Any small attaching fleet will count such possibilities.

    6) The questions was not "How to bring dark ages", but how to eliminate imaginary IC population on the particular imaginary Planet.

    7) And also question was how to eliminate the particular Planet - the small so-called "Black Hole" (of the Energy of the large Mountain) shoots directly into the nucleus of the Planet can make a devastating damage, the question only how many Energy it will require, and how long destruction process will be. In addition this can change the orbit of the Planet, and if the Planet is close to the Star, in can fall there. But I think it will take to long time.
  14. Apr 11, 2017 #13
    Assuming the lifeforms are similar to the ones that we know of, you could destroy all life on the planet by removing all of the carbon from the atmosphere. Eventually, the cycle of life would stop because you have broken the circuit that creates the cycle of life. This may only be comprehensible to people who actually understand the carbonate-silicate cycle. Draining the carbon from the atmosphere and constantly relocating it to a different system will cause all life on that planet to eventually stop.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  15. Apr 11, 2017 #14
    Definitely not! Just imagine some kind of HIV with the virulence of influenza. Mankind would be doomed years before somebody realizes that we have a problem. Even natural pathogens like swine influenza show how unprotected we are against pandemic events. Not to imagine what could be done with advanced genetic engineering and the required level of unscrupulousness.

    That doesn’t matter if the technical civilization outside the shelters has been destroyed. It is not even necessary to attack the infrastructure. It would be sufficient to kill as many people that the remaining survivors can’t operate it anymore. When the guys in the shelters return into a world with medieval technology they will change their government accordingly. That’s just a matter of time.
  16. Apr 11, 2017 #15


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    The design doesn't matter and it would not punch through, for the same reason meteoroids almost always leave a circular crater, regardless of the angle of impact. It will simply disintegrate.
    The point is, once you have the technology to make spaceships that can easily travel between stars, or even within a solar system, you have the technology to destroy any planet (in the sense of ending life on it) just by ramming one of the ships into it. And if there are no kamikaze volunteers, take the pilot out and run it on remote.
    Let's say you've got a 10 000 tonne spaceship (roughly as much as an Aegis cruiser). Ramming it into Earth at 0.5 c would be equivalent to the impact of the meteoroid that killed off dinosaurs.
    Ramming it at 0.99999 c would blow off Earth's atmosphere. And if you have a spaceship that's 100 times as massive (a carrier or a tanker of sorts?), then you can melt the crust. No bunker would help anyone out.

    A black hole as massive as Mt. Everest would be approx. 1 nanometre across. If you'd drop it onto Earth, it'd fly towards the centre and after approx. 40 minutes emerge out from the other side. Then it'd return again and again. Each time it'd consume a tiny amount of mass on its path (and damage a bit more), and grow. After some number of years that I'm unable to estimate (Thousands? Hundreds? Not a short time scale certainly) it'd start causing increasingly devastating earthquakes, and eventually consume all Earth. At that point you'd have one black hole of 1 Earth mass and less than 20 millimetres across. It will happily keep orbiting the Sun just as the Earth did (it wouldn't have fallen into the Sun).

    Actually, it's likely that any major apocalyptic event that breaks down the existing level of social and industrial development is to plunge the survivors into savagery with no hope of rebuilding the civilization - at least not in the technological-industrialized form that we are familiar with. You see, by now nearly all the easily accessible (i.e. surface or shallow depth) metal deposits on Earth have been depleted. If you kill off the majority of population, destroy infrastructure and know-how, and keep the survivors in the shelters long enough for leftover machinery and structures to corrode away, then will have no way of either accessing or processing ores. They won't rediscover metalworking and everything that relies on it.
  17. Apr 11, 2017 #16


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    I don't think you got the statement.... The civilization as we know it today stands on top of information age, with almost everything being computerized and connected thanks to sattelites and so on... The damage a few meteors can do on the whole structure of earth is not just craters and a regional earthquakes. They will destroy earth as you know it today (with its nice air, food and plants, animals and temperature) ... Also it's much easier and safer than creating a BH.

    Also how powerful is humanity against natural disasters was shown a few years ago, when just a small volcanic activity in Iceland was enough to cut travels around the north-western Europe for a whole week (and you want people to escape with spaceships?).

    At some point this won't even work - because you can always raise "ifs" to any statement... So to this if-else-if scenarios, I would throw a meteor as large as the USA on Earth... Life is erased in a few minutes if not seconds...not a single sattelite will be able to escape, not a single shelter will be able to defend, not a single human will be able to hide...
  18. Apr 11, 2017 #17


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    No such program exists by the way...Mars is not able to sustain life.
  19. Apr 11, 2017 #18
    If I had a fleet of military spacecraft capable of percentage-of-light speed travel, I would sit in space and shoot down the satellites. Then, take down the electrical grid (validated by watching for lit areas on the night side). I would hit mass transit next. It's not that hard to imagine sieging a planet like you'd siege a castle. Cut off communication, cut off the circulation of vital resources, and wait for the population to take the civilization apart for you.
  20. Apr 12, 2017 #19
    This will not work, if we are talkin' about IC population as a mankind.

    1) The process of deleting Carbon-stuf from the Atmosphere is not instant process.

    2) When the powerful governments of mankind (PG) will realize what is happening they will active strategy like in case of full scale Nuclear Apocalypses - the Nuclear Power Plant powered fully autonomous shelters. The will have no problems with Carbon there.

    3) After some time their Scientists will realize how to make counter-meassures.

    4) The mankind population will be restored after some time.

    This strategy is totally ineffective. Imho.
    The question was not "How to bring a chaos to the countries", but "how to exterminate IC population". Any Biological agent can be easily countered even by 'chemical suite'. The chance that the virus will penetrate even a simple shelter - is close to zero.
    The shelter in the ancient times of Cold War has been build to make their inhabitants able to 'operate', so they have anything that they will need, there is not sense in shelters in the opposite case. Today you can even buy some shelter in US, if you want the cheapest variant is something near 30k of green stuff, I think so. So you can imagine what kind of shelter can be bought by rich guys, or what kind of technologies is available for the militants.
    The guys from shelters will have a modern army structure, a modern government organization, the modern weapon systems (obviously the shelter will be equipped with a weapon facilities), they will have Nuclear Weapon (no one idiot will build a shelter without a equipping inhabitants with a nuclear toys), they will have modern organization, etc. If they will face any threats from the 'medieval/anarchy like stuff' they will annihilate that threats with no hesitation and just move further. Any of utopia cannot stand against modern order for too long.
    Yes, this is just matter of time before normal mankind population will be restored :).

    Imho your strategy is a total fail, mr DrStupid
    A Very interesting! ^^

    1) Still it is not a way to use the complicated (and very costly!) military devices such as ships, like a bombs or a projectiles.

    2) I don't know what is mean "Aegis" and what a class of this craft.

    3) I have doubts that small fleet will have such large ships.

    4) Indeed the near Light-speed projectile is effective due to the fact, that the projectile is very hard to be spotted by any Electromagnetic scanner before it will reach the target.

    --- but it seems, that unreal amount of Energy is need to reach such Kinetic speed.

    --- can we make something like a 'bomb' but not a projectile, I mean to obtain the necessary amount Energy not from our direct devices, but from something that can be stored, like Energy from the Chemical/Nuclear Interactions in the stuff that inside of the modern bombs?

    5) Yes indeed, in case of such horrific impact, the buners mostly will be useless. But what if some bunker will survive or some submarine stuff will survive, or shelter in Polar. I think there is a lot risk in this case, we have a huge probability that somebody will survive.
    This is brilliant idea, and I have read such stuff before (on the above mentioned internet-resource), but we have a lot of problems:

    1) How we can create such object?

    --- Is it can be created by focusing enough amount of Energy in a small volume of the Space-Time? I mean, it seems that the Mass or the Energy is looks equal in this case?

    2) The time is a matter. It's too long definitely.

    --- If the IC population will realize what is happening they will have enough time to create an effective counter measures.

    3) Can we accelerate the events?

    --- Make a so-called "Black Hole" that will explode inside of the target Planet, and those inflict a catastrophic damage enough to depart the Planet?
    The hope is always persist, even in case the only one IC ( the human if we gonna talk on this level) will survive.
    No it is not, you forget about Science and Progress, for an example, if mankind will achieve the ability to make enough of Antimatter, they can create a Nuclear Reactor that will be able to combine Nucleons an produce the materials that humans is need for.
    I think it is makes a little sense.

    1) No any natural disaster of the past (in the nearest 20k years) had no made any sustain damage to the mankind population, for an exception of the pre-modern Hygiene nonense, that holds so huge mortality level that can hold the human population of the entire Earth on such pity level.


    - Economic Edge
    The resource is not academic, so the info may sux, but I think it is a good approximation. And I think there is a lot of nonsense on this resource too, especially about glob situation.

    2) The strategies against "doomsday" has been successfully developed by US and SU in the previous century, no any destruction of infrastructure, nor the any anarchic like nonsense can due sustain damage to this strategies (I think this factors has been counted when the "doomsday" strategies has been created during the Cold War).
    The powerful government have effective long-range systems of monitoring space that can locate and identify the meteor threats.
    I have no doubts in that too, especially when I am looking on the recent US NASA, and ESA programs :).
    No it is makes a little sense too, imho. Such nonsense will create a dangerous situation when separated powerful government of Earth IC population (if gonna talk about Earth) will be united into a single organization that have superior power, and there is a large risk that they will create effective strategy. Of course they will try to negotiate in the same time. In addition - hitting a large amount of multiple targets (such as satellites, communications, etc) for the small fleet is a not very easy task, it will take a lot of time.
  21. Apr 12, 2017 #20


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    The fact that you know there is a possibility of something to happen does not mean you have the means to avoid or efficiently stop it... There is a huge gap between the one or the other....Also the strategies that were studied during the Cold War had to do with nuclear weapons and not meteors or huge natural disasters. I don't understand the anarchic thing- nobody speaks for politics... there won't be politics when there are no people.

    what do you mean? Have we sent at least 1 human on Mars? Projects of course exist but you have to realize the gap between studying something and making it work.... this is not an applicable scenario to be made within a few decades.

    Let them identify them- it's an impossible to escape from scenario. If someone learns that he or she has cancer, it doesn't mean that they can survive. Also the attacker can hack the defender's systems but that is not my point. The point is that you fail to understand the gap between theorizing something and practically making it happen.

    And in general you are exagerating all the time... in the end you will say that the once equal to humanity defenders are more advanced than the attackers. Make your point straight!
  22. Apr 12, 2017 #21
    Mr ChrisVer, if something happens, if the choices has been done, you cannot reverse it in the Macrowrold at least. You cannot control the minds of the other peoples (well it is disputable, but still), you cannot control the future that they will create, there is a many kind minds of IC, and they will react in a different ways on the same things. It is like Entropy in Macroworld - have only the one way further, no backward. Better don't bother yourself.
    About a strategies of the greatest Powers on Earth in case of cataclysm, I think this strategies (and shelters) has been created to include risk of the any kinds of the known and unknown threats, such as attack of the Aliens, Meteor impact, super Virus, etc. this is like the instruction for pilots of aircraft when they may see UFO :) All risks, known and unknown is counted - this is the way, in military-guys doing.
    Did you have watched the newspaper that have lighted up the so-called "Manhattan Project" on the stage of it's development? I have doubts about that. The same may be with the Mars program.
    Nothing is impossible. frostysh faced a many thing in his life (good and bad), and this learned frostysh to have a doubts in anything and everything.
    About the small fleet, no point in such actions. Of course in case of this fleet have a much more advanced technological level (obviously coz' they have ability to travel at unimaginable long distances) than targeted population of IC.
    I have never said "equal" as I remembered, I have posted "something near", "something like". frostysh is straight, and clear to understand for a frostysh :). But yeah, I have a little bit poor English skill. ;/ .
  23. Apr 12, 2017 #22


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    There are documentaries about meteor impacts and so on, you can sit and watch some of them. Once people are closed and confined within shelters (because the outside world will be inaccessible to them), then you can certainly speak about the end of civilization. Also the size of the meteor matters; a pretty massive meteor cannot be avoided by hiding underneath the ground (which probably will molt). You don't even have to go so far, you just need enough to destroy the people on the planet.
    Also for the plot of the population growth, the time span of it is too short... how many humans were on earth ~3billion years ago?

    Again accounting for a risk doesn't mean you can do anything to avoid it.

    No, it's not the same. Studies can of course be done, but they are too far away from being operated. We we reached the moon about 500years after having the models to do so. And especially modeling self-sustainable extraterrestrial life, is even more difficult (leave aside trying to do it).

    Some things in life are unavoidable. Someday everyone will die, there is a risk you can count for it and take measures to delay it, but the fact that we all die still holds. So I think your character didn't live long enough to see those many things in his life.

    something like/near means almost similar. If the defenders' technology is something near to humanity's current knowledge and technological advancement, there is nothing you can do against a meteor attack...
  24. Apr 12, 2017 #23
    Any planet can be easily destroyed by a nuclear arsenal, chance is high.
  25. Apr 12, 2017 #24
    "Easily destroyed?" If we set off every single explosive device (nuclear and conventional) on the planet simultaneously, we'd barely even scratch it. We'd wipe ourselves out, sure, but the planet would be perfectly fine and in a couple million years or so will basically be what it was before we came along several thousand years ago.
  26. Apr 12, 2017 #25
    Use the moon. Put a rocket on the other side of the moon and push it into the planet.
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