There's a short story rattling around in my head. The premise involves an Earth-like planet that has been shattered (not reduced to rubble, but cracked into large pieces). It is an artificial catastrophe, to be sure, but exactly what form of weapon or other destructive force was used is open to imagination (you are welcome to posit causes that will lead to the effect I'm looking for, but it is not important). What I'm interested in is what form the shards would take. (this would likely be dependent on the nature of the destructive force). I'm looking for the least destruction required to separate a planet into two or more pieces that do not immediately recombine. What might I expect the planetary environs to be, say, a century or so after the rending asunder. Obviously, after rounding the sun a hundred times, some of it will be quite spread out into, not a full ring, but an arc. My primary question is about how the largest pieces might fare. The Earth is mostly high-viscosity liquid, so the largest pieces couldn't be more than - what? - a hundred miles thick? If that's true, is it safe to assume that no single piece could possibly measure more than a couple of hundred miles across? Any broader and they would simply collapse in on themselves by their own gravity like an eggshell in a closed fist. Input?