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Thread: Effect of a Tsar Bomba on the Moon

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    Effect of a Tsar Bomba on the Moon

    Virtually every Star Wars and Star Trek episode has someone disintegrating a planet or moon.

    The 1961 Tsar Bomba was originally going to be a 100 mT explosion, but was reduced to 50 mT.

    The surface area of the Moon is the same as Africa and from what we know of the Moon's volume and geology, would one or more 100 mT bunker-busterized Bombas fired at the Moon at maximum velocity and designed to explode only after penetrating 100' of its surface have the ability to actually destroy the Moon or blow off a large part of it?

    Or would it be the same as with the Earth, where it is believed every nuclear bomb ever made exploding simultaneously in one spot would have almost no geological or structural integrity effects?

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    Why would you (or anyone) care?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Virtually every Star Wars and Star Trek episode has someone disintegrating a planet or moon.

    The 1961 Tsar Bomba was originally going to be a 100 mT explosion, but was reduced to 50 mT.

    The surface area of the Moon is the same as Africa and from what we know of the Moon's volume and geology, would one or more 100 mT bunker-busterized Bombas fired at the Moon at maximum velocity and designed to explode only after penetrating 100' of its surface have the ability to actually destroy the Moon or blow off a large part of it?

    Or would it be the same as with the Earth, where it is believed every nuclear bomb ever made exploding simultaneously in one spot would have almost no geological or structural integrity effects?
    No, it would not blow up the Moon. The Moon's craters were mostly created by impacts of much greater power.
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    Agreed. Look up the energies associated with the impacts by
    comet Shoemakewr-Levi on Jupiter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Or would it be the same as with the Earth, where it is believed every nuclear bomb ever made exploding simultaneously in one spot would have almost no geological or structural integrity effects?
    Probably even less. The immediate damage of a crater would probably be near the same, but the big damage that the bombs do is atmospheric. Since there is no atmosphere, there is much less to constrain the explosion, and a lot of the energy will just be lofted into space.

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    All that nuclear waste that went critical in 1999, on the other hand....
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoChoice View Post
    Why would you (or anyone) care?
    NoChoice,

    Don't question other members' interests or motives, its rude. If you're not interested in the question, then stay out of the thread.
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    No, he was just pointing out that in a lifeless world, an atomic bomb makes literally little damages.

    For example, mice are a big problem for a warehouse of food, medicines or books, and just a minor nuisance for a warehouse of bricks and tiles...
    Last edited by Barabino; 2015-Feb-28 at 05:51 AM.

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    A piddly 100 MT explosion would have no significant global effect on the Moon. It could, however produce a significant crater. There is, of course, a calculator (the accuracy of which I cannot verify) at http://keith.aa.washington.edu/crate...ling/index.htm
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    A piddly 100 MT explosion would have no significant global effect on the Moon. It could, however produce a significant crater. There is, of course, a calculator (the accuracy of which I cannot verify) at http://keith.aa.washington.edu/crate...ling/index.htm
    I'm not sure how well that would work on a world without an atmosphere. Earth has not only an atmosphere, but also water and other volatiles in the ground that can easily phase change or otherwise expand rapidly with heating. A conventional explosive might work better, since it brings with it, it's own blast gasses in chemically stable solid compounds, but a nuclear explosive relies upon ambient gasses and vaporizable matter to create the majority of its blast effect.

    A depth of 100 ft isn't very deep, where most underground nuclear tests are at 100-300 meters. So, it would probably still breach the surface and excavate a large crater. At -66 feet on earth, even a 1 KT explosion breached the surface in the Teapot Ess test. I think a bigger problem would be creating a bunker buster for a Tsar Bomba, which might be too large and fragile to properly harden for the accelerations in planetary penetration.

    For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undergr...eapons_testing
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    If an atomic bomb exploded in Jupiter's hydrogen atmoshere, would it start a planet-wide nuclear fusion reaction? Could we have a second dwarf sun?

    That would be undobtedly an unmistakeable signal for aliens out there

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    If an atomic bomb exploded in Jupiter's hydrogen atmoshere, would it start a planet-wide nuclear fusion reaction? Could we have a second dwarf sun?

    That would be undobtedly an unmistakeable signal for aliens out there
    No, if Shoemaker-Levy 9 didn't have enough energy to ignite fusion events then nothing we do will have any major impact. IIRC the conditions are not right for sustained fusion anyway, the fissionable material in Jupiter's atmosphere isn't dense enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    No, if Shoemaker-Levy 9 didn't have enough energy to ignite fusion events then nothing we do will have any major impact. IIRC the conditions are not right for sustained fusion anyway, the fissionable material in Jupiter's atmosphere isn't dense enough.
    Believe it or not, there were some people desperately worried that when Galileo entered Jupiter's atmosphere, the plutonium in the RTGs would fuse under the atmospheric pressure and set off a nuclear reaction, starting a chain reaction that would at least burn off Jupiter's atmosphere if not turn it into a star. This despite no part of this scenario making any sense at all.
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    No nuke of whatever size we could make, could make more than just another modest crater on a body already shot up from asteroids.
    During the blast, it might look a bit like that white dot on Ceres, and that's about it. A bright pixel or three/

    Now up close, what would that look like? Good question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    Believe it or not, there were some people desperately worried that when Galileo entered Jupiter's atmosphere, the plutonium in the RTGs would fuse under the atmospheric pressure and set off a nuclear reaction, starting a chain reaction that would at least burn off Jupiter's atmosphere if not turn it into a star. This despite no part of this scenario making any sense at all.
    Michio Kaku, of course, thought it was going to destroy the Earth!
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    IIRC, it would take several million obelisks with dimensional ratios of 1 : 4 : 9 encapsulating Jupiter in order to turn it into a small star.

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    ^monoliths

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    Some very crude back-of-the-envelope math on my part suggests a Tsar Bomba-level explosion would be dazzling even from the Earth, maybe as bright as the full Moon itself for a split second, and more impressive for being concentrated in a pointlike source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypmotoad View Post
    IIRC, it would take several million obelisks with dimensional ratios of 1 : 4 : 9 encapsulating Jupiter in order to turn it into a small star.
    They have to be Von Neumann machines performing nucleosynthesis on the hydrogen, of course.


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