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Could a Gravitational Wave Destroy an Entire Planet?

Although imperceptible, we are constantly being stretched and compressed by distortions in space-time known as gravitational waves. These waves are generated by massive celestial objects like black holes and have been observed causing minuscule distortions on Earth. However, what if these waves were to have a significant impact on our planet?

In the latest episode of Dead Planets Society, hosts Chelsea Whyte and Leah Crane delve into the question of whether it is possible to generate a gravitational wave strong enough to be felt, or even to tear apart an entire planet. Such a feat would involve manipulating black holes, which are the densest objects in the universe and therefore the most efficient at generating gravitational waves.

However, creating a catastrophic gravitational wave is not as simple as placing a pair of black holes next to a planet and colliding them, as the gravity of the black holes alone would annihilate the planet, irrespective of any wave effects. Gravitational wave researcher Christopher Berry joins Leah and Chelsea in this episode to discuss the intricacies of tuning the frequency of gravitational waves to potentially disassemble planets or even the entire solar system. They also explore the concept of creating a deadly symphony of black holes that could project their cosmic music across the universe.

The Dead Planets Society podcast explores audacious ideas to manipulate the cosmos, from puncturing planets to unifying the asteroid belt, and examines the feasibility of these notions based on the laws of physics.

For more captivating content from Dead Planets Society, subscribe to The Science Spotlight Weekly or visit our podcast page here.


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