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Suppose that an alien game show came along to our planet posing as "gods" as a disguise. They bring a big target disk into orbit and tell us to show them how much power we can make. The disk appears every decade and year after year we fire all of the energy we have at it to try and get a better "score" hoping that one day we will win whatever prize it is.

The question

suppose this is our first round and the aliens come tomorrow telling us to fire. what is the best way to direct energy at the target and how long would it take to make the machine to do it?

What might some problems be with implementing this?

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  • $\begingroup$ Consider that the location of this disc may be a limitation, i.e. not all of the world will have a chance to hit it with energy. What if the disc is above the Pacific Ocean when they say go? etc $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Oct 22 '16 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ Point 1W laser pointer, it will be enough for them, just spoke with the producer. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Oct 22 '16 at 6:05
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Your additional info kills off the real response, where we would not do anything to it...

We can direct energy at a target, but it is not on a real destructive scale worth mentioning. XKCD has an excellent what if article on laser pointers and the moon, which can give a good idea of how much directed energy we can deliver at a target.

Nuke it

We may not have energy weapons but we do have missiles. Earth has plenty of missiles that could hit a satellite and as per the request of the God's we would fit them with our strongest warheads we had available, which would be nukes. According to ican (which is likely biased, there are more than 15,000 nuclear weapons. Problem is not all of them are missiles some are simply bombs intended to be dropped by bombers. Another problem is they do not have the same yields so estimating their combined power is not easy. Another problem is timing it, all the missiles would need to hit the target at the same time otherwise the blast from the first to reach would prevent the tardy missiles from going proper nuclear.

However... there is a really big problem if all countries blindly obeyed the command and launched all their nukes at said target in a coordinated manner...

The Electromagnetic Pulse from the combined detonation would take out pretty much any satellite near the disk and likely create a huge debris field in orbit which could trigger Kessler syndrome causing cascade destruction of anything in orbit.

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