Deliberate Destruction of Planets and Biospheres

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A. Lockley (2015), JBIS, 68, pp.150-152

Refcode: 2015.68.150
Keywords: Exoplanet, solar radiation management, terraforming, directed panspermia, space warfare

Science fiction offers scenarios in which a planet is destroyed in combat. However, these are often impractical. Instead of supplying all the energy required, more plausible attacks may use leverage in order to damage or destroy the planet or its biosphere. In order to study the conduct, observation, or defence associated with such attacks, a range of potentially practical weapon and defence technologies are discussed. These are: altering the radiation budget of a planet so as to substantially change its temperature; introducing invasive species to transform the biogeochemistry; and using orbital perturbations of comets and asteroids to cause collisions, or to move the planet to an unstable or uninhabitable orbit. Weapon transit and effect times associated with these technologies render them suitable only for extreme slow-motion warfare, assuming near-term technologies.

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