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Ever wanted to blow up a planet? Neil DeGrasse Tyson tells you how to do it

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Aspiring supervillains take heart: astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says blowing a planet up is relatively easy.

“Ask yourself: how much energy is keeping it together?” deGrasse Tyson told co-host Eugene Mirman on his Star Talk radio show. “Then you put more than that amount of energy into the object. It will explode.”

The scenario, which deGrasse Tyson described as a “physics 102”-level discussion, came about in response to a listener’s question.

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“In the movie Star Wars, we see the Death Star blow up the planet Alderaan,” Mirman said, reading the question. “Setting aside the question of how [such] a thing would be possible, what would happen to our solar system if the Empire blew up, say, Mars?”

First, deGrasse Tyson said, any Imperial sympathizer looking to make that happen would have to calculate the planet’s binding energy, in order to determine how much energy it would take to overcome the gravitational forces binding the planet together.

“Now you have a device that can pump that energy into your planet and have that planet absorb the energy, rather than have the energy come out the other side, it will completely destroy the planet to smithereens, entirely,” he explained. “So, that’s how one would go about it.”

At the same time, deGrasse Tyson argued against the idea, since NASA’s Curiosity rover is currently gathering data on Mars’ surface.

“But it wouldn’t affect us that much,” Mirman said. “Our physical well-being, not our mental and emotional well-being.”

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“We will continue to orbit the Sun,” deGrasse Tyson confirmed. “Mars will have essentially no effect on us.”

The discussion begins around the 34-minute mark of deGrasse Tyson’s “Season 5 time capsule,” and can be heard below.

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24 hours of embarrassing incidents culminate in #TrumpIsALaughingStock trending on Twitter

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President Donald Trump has already had a tough week.

It started Monday evening when HBO aired a widely-panned interview with Axios correspondent Jonathan Swan.

Monday morning, Trump appeared entirely unfamiliar with Yosemite National Park.

And then Trump had another one of his lie-filled presidential briefings.

All the fodder circulating resulted in the hashtag for "Trump is a laughing stock" trending on Twitter.

Here's some of what people were saying about the commander-in-chief:

https://twitter.com/jeremynewberger/status/1290833836587311104

https://twitter.com/egheitasean/status/1290768729286963201

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2020 Election

GOP operatives linked to Kayne West’s presidential bid in potential ‘spoiler’ effort: NYT

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There are questions as to whether Kanye West is running a "spoiler" bid for president to help re-elect his friend, Donald Trump, according to a new report by The New York Times.

"At least four people who have been active in Republican politics are linked to Kanye West’s attempt to get on the presidential ballot this year. The connection raises questions about the aims of the entertainer’s effort and whether it is regarded within the G.O.P. as a spoiler campaign that could aid President Trump, even as those close to Mr. West have expressed concerns about his mental health as he enters the political arena," the newspaper reported.

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2020 Election

Kris Kobach ridiculed after losing comeback bid in Kansas: ‘Adios amigo’

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Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is the projected loser of the state's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Kobach, a longtime crusader against immigration, headed up President Donald Trump's so-called "voter fraud commission" before it was disbanded after failing to identify any widespread instances of fraud.

Kobach unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018.

Here's some of what people were saying about Kobach's defeat:

https://twitter.com/LokayFOX5/status/1290832478865952768

https://twitter.com/davematt88/status/1290831071462875136

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