# Would atmosphere of Jupiter blow up if I launched a atomic bomb there? [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

This is based upon an question I had, since in Jupiter there is no oxygen a simple fire cannot be started let alone even happen due to its temperature. Anyway that being said, If I somehow used a space-shuttle to take a atomic weapon size of Tsar Bomba and successfully detonated the mass-destruction weapon would the entire planet simply be destroyed or what would happen?

That in mind do be aware hydrogen (major component of its atmosphere) is flammable so what would happen?

-

## marked as duplicate by DavePhD, Jim, Brandon Enright, John Rennie, Kyle KanosMay 7 '14 at 12:30

possible duplicate of Can Jupiter be ignited? – DavePhD May 6 '14 at 20:00
also related to this question: physics.stackexchange.com/q/34573 Ron Maimon's answer is very interesting – DavePhD May 6 '14 at 21:08
You can start a simple fire on Jupiter. Because the atmosphere is hydrogen, the "fuel" needs to be an oxidizer. Potassium nitrate would burn well, for example, as $2KNO_3 + 8H_2 \to K_2O+2NH_3+2H_2O$ – Ross Millikan May 7 '14 at 0:10
$2KNO_3 + 5H_2 \rightarrow 2KOH + 4H_2O + N_2$ perhaps – DavePhD May 7 '14 at 12:26

In short: Nuking Jupiter won't do much.

As you correctly noted, there is definitely not enough oxygen in Jupiter's atmosphere to support combustion, so the bomb would not ignite the hydrogen. "Flammable" only applies in an oxygen-rich environment, or in an environment where oxygen can be liberated from one's surroundings. No luck there.

Hydrogen bombs initiate fusion in hydrogen that is stored inside the weapon, using their initial explosion to create a symmetrical high-pressure situation. They would not initiate fusion outside the weapon. Even Jupiter's hydrogen-rich atmosphere would not start undergoing fusion if you detonated a bomb there.

If you were watching from Earth, you would likely see a small flash of light, and that would be it. Take a look for videos of comets and meteors striking Jupiter; there are some great examples where much more energy is released than in even the largest nuclear bombs.

-
My understanding is that most of the energy increase in fusion bombs over fission-only bombs is that the fusion neutrons catalyze more fission in the heavy metal. This obviously wouldn't happen on Jupiter either. – rob May 6 '14 at 20:23
Rob: You're describing 3F bombs -- fission-fusion-fission. Pure fusion bombs, one generation earlier, do get most of their energy from the fusion reaction. (For what it's worth, some would-be wit dubbed "dirty bombs" 4F: fission-fusion-fission-fallout. The fact that 4F is also the classification code for "unfit for military service" is probably not accidental.) – keshlam May 7 '14 at 0:56