So a few years back I wrote Star Wars, Einstein and When Lucas Got It Right where I said, “Saying that because the Death Star could blow up Alderaan it could blow up Yavin is like saying something that can blow up Earth can blow up Jupiter.”

Naturally, that got me to thinking about how much harder it would be for the Death Star to blow up varying objects in the solar system.

I wasn’t sure how to calculate this so I asked on a math website – a website claiming to have people who were good at math and would help people who asked questions. (I didn’t mention it was about the Death Star; I put it in more generic terms.) But no one had an idea of how to do this mathematically.

So I finally came up with a formula that I used in Difficulty Levels of Death Star Versus Various Astronomical Bodies

Now with the new Star Wars movie having come out (which I haven’t seen yet - so no spoilers, please), it’s impossible not to think of Star Wars because it’s on TV and at the stores. And then I saw this thread (which I have not read) Death Star vs. Starkiller Base: both are unrealistic, the latter especially so (open spoilers) and that made me think about the power of the Death Star, which made me think of that piece I wrote about the power of the Death Star and wonder about the math I used (as — let me make this clear — I am not a math expert, I was just figuring it out the best way I could come up with).

So, as there are a lot of smart people on this site who clearly know math better than I do, I wanted to ask

[ol]

[li]How valid is my formula?[/li][li]What would have been a better way to calculate this?[/li][/ol]

Now, I put that piece up years ago; I’m not going to be changing the numbers. But if someone does come up with a better calculation, I’d probably do an edit of the piece giving the new information.