Simulating exploding planets

  • #1
Steffo
I know planets are very stable and don't explode, but here's something I would love a physicist to run on a powerful computer, maybe using some FEM model. Let's say we will the inner core of planet earth with TNT, say a sphere with radius 2000 km and ignite it. What would the explosion look like from an observer say halfway between earth and moon? I'm sure it's very very different from what Hollywood tells us and that it would be a pretty awesome and prolonged event.

Perhaps someone has already done this and you can point me to the YouTube video?

Cheers
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,524
624
I would think most of the energy would be absorbed by the planet as heat. You'd probably have lots of earthquakes along fault lines, but I doubt even an insane amount of TNT like that could blow up the whole planet. A thermonuclear explosion would be able to do it, in which case I would think that the series of events would unfold very similarly to a supernova, just on a much smaller scale. It'd probably puff out in a massive fireball, then collapse back in on itself and reform as a ball of molten liquid.

The universe is violent, Earth went through some impacts early on that probably blasted it apart more than once. Our moon was formed by a planet the size of Mars smashing into our planet, the energy given off would have been significantly more than what you described.
 

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