(Same universe as Saturnian Cloud Cities and Quazar Power Plant)

In this setting, humans (Earthborn) are the first intelligent life to emerge in the Milky Way. They have now unified and became a grand Type 3 civilization, known galaxy-wide by younger alien-races, as the "Primordials".

However, the Primordials are now waging war on a emerging Type 2.7 civilization (i.e. a civilization that has colonized multiple solar systems, but not the entire galaxy yet) that is ready to conquer the galaxy and start rebellions to overthrow the Primordial Government.

The rebels are called "Hutts" and live on a planet about 3x the mass of the Earth, and 1.7x the radius. It has a iron core, which is 20% of the radius of the host planet. The planet, called Al-Dabaran, has its own moon, albeit extremely volcanic, and releasing volcanic plumes every few months. Al-Dabaran, along with its volcanic moon, has a extremely powerful magnetic field, that causes volcanic plumes to travel in a torus. Al-Dabaran orbits a red dwarf.

In short, the Al-Dabaran system is a scaled-down version of the Jupiter-Io radiation belt system.

However, this powerful magnetic field, about 20x Earth's intensity, is what causes Primordial warships to fail, as it produces extreme radiation that damages Primordial technological and mechanical systems. So, the Primordials have to come up with a solution to defeat the Hutts. Which has only one solution-Remove the core from the planet

Primordials, however need to find out how exactly to remove the core away from the planet, so that it no longer generates a magnetic field, and no radiation belts. You cannot exactly get a starship to drill the core out of the planet without anyone noticing. So Primordials come up with another proposal- Pull it out magnetically

There are multiple magnetic sources out there in the universe that are extremely strong, like neutron stars. However, here's a drawback.

Neutron stars' magnetic field, despite being quadrillions of gauss strong, are pathetically weak at large distances, say Earth-Moon distance. The best a neutron star can do is to wipe out your credit card, and even then, they are so bright that the Hutts can detect them, and propel their solar systems away before it did any damage. Besides, neutron stars, like their black hole brethrens, have a nasty habit of sphagettifying matter and forming accretion disks that illuminate areas as much as billions of miles across. Besides, using radiation to kill the Hutts are useless, they are resillient to radiation, and cannot be damaged by even quasar-level radiation. Besides, neutron stars, are bright and tend to give away their presence easily. So, Primordials come up with a stealthy option:- Magnet Planets.

The idea is ridiculously simple. The magnetic force is the most powerful force in nature, surpassing gravity, weak and strong nuclear forces. This means that even a tiny object can have such a powerful magnetic field, that it can deflect ferromagnetic objects with devastating impact.

In practice, the Primordials begin by assembling a huge sphere of iron about 0.5 earth masses and small im radius (as iron is compact). By some methods which I shall leave to your imagination, the iron sphere's interior is cooled down to moderate temperatures about 30°C, and is kept at that temperature by some means.

By using the quasar-power plant, the iron sphere is magnetized to immense levels (~1012 gauss or even more). This means that although it only has trivial gravity, its magnetic field is so strong that any ferromagnetic substance coming near it will impact at relativistic speeds.

After the "Magnet-Sphere" has been prepared, it is now made to approach Al-Dabaran slowly and steadily. The MS cannot be detected as even if the Hutts could see it, because they are revolving around a red dwarf, it would probably resemble this:

enter image description here

Which can be mistaken for a distant red giant or a faint red dwarf, or just a ordinary planetesimal.

Even, then, the planet approaches from the nightside, so that it can be as stealthy as possible, and can't be noticeable with the naked eyes. Hutt telescopes are designed to detect light sources, and not magnetic fields.

Little do the Hutts know, that as the MS approaches, the magnetic field is slowly overpowering Al-Dabaran's gravitational field. Maybe their credit cards would get wiped out, but as there is no bright neutron star glowing in the sky, it could be mistaken for something else. Their compasses would get deflected, which could be pinned down on glitches.

Finally, as the MS approaches Al-Dabaran, its magnetic pull overpowers AD's gravity and pulls the iron core apart, destroying the planet in the process, thus killing the Hutt Rebels.

Is this Interstellar Warfare weapon really efficient at causing mass destruction to a planet, or is there something wrong in my assumptions?


  • No, it is not exactly the magnetic field that causes the Primordial technology to be dysfunctional, it is the powerful radiation belts generated by the magnetic field that causes the malfunction.
  • 33
    $\begingroup$ (a) 80% of the question is irrelevant and distracting backstory. (Your Primordials can't deal with the high magnetism of the Hutt's planet and their solution is magnetism? They're a type-III civilization, why not hit the planet with a relativistic asteroid?) (b) Define what you mean by "efficient" because almost any other way of destroying the Hutts would be easier and use less energy. (c) a type-2.7 civilization can't detect an approaching magnetosphere capable of ripping out the core of their planet? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 19:37
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ What @JBH said. Destroying a planet is trivial for a type-III civilisation that has access to 4×10^37 watts of energy every second. $\endgroup$
    – Ian Kemp
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 11:14
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ Civilization that can and had colonized whole galaxy, utilizing it's all available energy can't deal with strong magnetic field? They can move solar systems. They are utilizing energy of black holes, millions of stars. You will need to dramatically change the setting for this plan be anywhere near realism. Also - Magnetic force is stronger then nuclear forces? That would mean magnets can cause fusion / fission reactions on their own... $\endgroup$
    – CorwinCZ
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 12:48
  • 17
    $\begingroup$ how does destroying one planet end a K2.7 civilization? $\endgroup$
    – ths
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 14:21
  • 13
    $\begingroup$ What, exactly, do you feel that those type-numbers represent? As fractional values on the Kardashev scale, using Sagan's approximation, a K2.7 civilization is over 6 million times more powerful than a K2 civilization. A K3 civilization is over 800 times more powerful again! The numbers you're throwing around are unimaginably large, used to describe implausibly ancient and advanced godlike wossnames. They cannot possibly be stymied by a slightly stronger than average planetary magnetosphere. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 17:17

3 Answers 3


Like coating artillery shells with lemon juice

(or maybe atomic bombs)

If your Primordials have the ability to:

  • Construct a large mass of material (0.5 M⊕)
  • Accelerate it to a speed at which it can move from one solar system to another on useful timescales (0.5c?)
  • Get it to within Δ⊕L from the Hutt's planet without it being noticed

They should just crash their cannonball into the planet. Al-Dabaran has a gravitational binding energy of 1.5×10³³ J. Your cannonball has a kinetic energy of 4.4×10⁴¹ J.

enter image description here

  • 21
    $\begingroup$ This is, like, the least you could do to those little runts. Gosh I wonder, does OP not understand the horrible power a Type-III can dispense at their leisure? Welding the power of hundreds of billions of stars for God's sake. $\endgroup$
    – BMF
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 1:38
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ People write messages on artillery shells all the time. Usually with crayons or chalk or marker. The lemon juice aspect is clever because you could use the lemon juice as invisible ink and ghost write the messages, only to be revealed when the shell is held up to a light bulb. Upvote! $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Willk just make them white phosphorous shells and they’ll light up on their own! $\endgroup$
    – Daniel B
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 17:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I would expect it to crash instead of pull the planet apart. Wouldn't, instead of pulling the other planet apart, the attraction simply pull the huge magnet closer and closer to the other planet until collision? $\endgroup$
    – kutschkem
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 14:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @kutschkem What are you talking about? The half-Earth-mass object moving at 0.5 c isn't going to have much time to do much of anything before impact. It enters the planet's Hill sphere at 1.5 million km distance, then ten seconds later it obliterates the planet with sheer kinetic energy. The GIF is quite accurate, actually. A "crash" is not the word I'd use to describe that. More like complete and utter annihilation. $\endgroup$
    – BMF
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 0:45

They have no need of ships or weapons as we know them. I'd assume that the primordials, being a K-III civilization, consider Dyson spheres a petty structure. With a very minor reconfiguration one could instead reflect light to an arbitrary focal point - say, the orbital path of a particularly troublesome planet.

Orbital paths being predictable things, "leading the shot" even a thousand light-years away would be a trivial task.

A Nicoll-Dyson beam, from Orions Arm

One day, for no particular reason, Al-Dabaran and everyone on it simply boiled away.

  • $\begingroup$ A gamma ray burst extinction event en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$
    – Christian
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 13:07
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Actually, the idea of a T-3 civilization solving the problem by building a dyson-sphere-sized faraday cage around the T-2.7's planet kinda strikes my funny bone. The extravagant waste of time and economy just dumps on their parade. It solves the problem with style! With prejudice! And which abject contempt! +1 just for making my day! $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 16:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are limits on how much sunlight you can focus; with this planet's size, at most ~0.0005% of a Sun-like star's light could be focused on it. But that would amount to ~ 2e23 W, or a millionfold increase over average insolation. The K3 civilization could destroy the planet (heating it to thousands of degrees) just with the light from its own star, and have 99.95% of the energy left over. $\endgroup$
    – Charles
    Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 16:55

If Primordial warships can't tolerate a magnetic field of 20 times Earth's (or the radiation belts that form in such a field), they badly need better warships. Also, 10^12 gauss is about 50 million times past the point where iron saturates, so the big iron sphere may as well not be there...something else is generating the field, and will do so just as well without the big chunk of iron.

Also, planets are not stealthy. Especially not planets with immensely strong magnetic fields constantly raining magnetic debris onto its surface with relativistic impact speeds. If they would "propel their solar systems away" from an approaching neutron star, they would take similar measures against any approaching rogue planet or other object even if it appeared to be an entirely natural one, because an impact or close pass will be entirely sufficient to destroy their homeworld.

At any rate, if the goal is merely to kill everyone on the planet, that can be accomplished in many vastly simpler and more straightforward ways, and the presence of a magnetic field of 20 times Earth's won't make the slightest difference.


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