Reach is a fictional planet in the halo universe
where the spartans were created. When the covenant found it, they glassed it. So what would it take to actually glass a
planet and is it even possible? The geography of Reach is somewhat similar
to that of earth. It has mountains, deserts, and forests though
with about 43% more surface area and a second moon, the system is a lot larger and more
complex. With a diameter of 15,275 kilometers and a
surface area of 733 million square kilometers, covering this planet with really anything
would be quite the feat of engineering. To say bombarding a planet with plasma is
impossible is like if Thomas Jefferson said putting a human on the moon is impossible. So for all intents and purposes, it’d be
wise to not underestimate the technologies of some foreign alien species and acknowledge
that we may not know everything. To achieve the glassing effect, the covenant
bombard the surface with plasma that melts all natural rock, soil, and sand down. In the process, all of the oceans are vaporized
and essentially any living creature would be, well not living anymore. Glassing isn’t quite achieved like the pretty
graph would lead you to believe. It requires more appropriately sized ships
with proportionally sized plasma beams. So traveling at 50 kilometers per hour, a
covenant battleship equipped with the necessary equipment to produce a 5 square kilometer
plasma beam would take 332 years to complete the operation. With 500 similar ships, this transformation
can be completed in a little over 8 months. This seems like a long time, but considering
Reach has been around for about 1 billion years, destroying it under one is essentially
a blink of the cosmic eye. Plasma is generally measured in amount of
energy per unit volume, but for comparison purposes let’s take a look at temperature. The average melting point of most silicates
is about 1200 degrees celsius, therefore you need to make sure the plasma has enough exposure
time per unit area to transfer the necessary energy into the ground to raise the temperature
to 1200 degrees. The z-machine is a man made plasma system
that has measured temperatures as 2 billion degrees celsius, though this is not sustainable. This system generates temperatures in the
hundreds of millions and this interactive model let’s you view the system in high
level. It’s pretty clear that even our most advanced
plasma technology, humans won’t be glassing planets any time soon. If the covenant could transfer that much energy
through the atmosphere and onto the surface it would be quite the sight to see. As the air molecules reached the high temperatures,
it would begin to glow various colors depending on the composition and brief sprites of electricity
would jump from the air as magnetic fields are altered. Since the plasma would likely be created by
an energized beam, it would be difficult to control over long distances as the electric
arc jumps from the ship to the surface. As beautiful as this transformation would
be, you can’t help but feel the scale of the universe as millions of different species
from both plant and animal are erased. Millions of years of evolution and adaptation
are gone and it’s significance is merely a flicker of light in the nights sky from
the neighboring planet. So, that’s the science and devastation one
can expect from a process like glassing. Now the question of the day is, where would
you hide if Earth was being glassed? Leave it in the comments, just below the like
button. Share the video with with your friends and,
thanks for watching

46 thoughts on “COULD THE COVENANT GLASS A PLANET? – Halo Science

  • Actually Earth did get glassed. But it was done by the swords of sanghelios and authorized by the UNSC. The reason why was a flood infected ship crashed into Africa. So to prevent a spread the UNSC authorized the swords of sanghelios to Glass parts of Africa.

  • Earth has been glass before. In Halo 3 the flood came to Earth but they only hit a part of Africa. To prevent a flood infestation the UNSC and ONI authorized the swords of sanghelios to glass part of Africa.

  • If Im correct. I dont think the Covenant glass a planet entirely. They just pick population centers and other targets of interest.

  • 0:36 but… earth is roughly 12,000km… you said Reach's diameter is 5273km (that puts it at 25% larger than harvest…)… you were off by 10,000 it is 15,273km

  • Vaporize the oceans? Each H20 molecule accelerated to less than escape speed will fall back to the planet. The escape speed of Reach could be around 15 km/sec. Something about the depth of the oceans on Reach? Let's assume 1 billion km³ water to be accelerated to 15 km/sec. This alone requires 1.12 * 10 power 29 Joule. That's at 100% efficiency. Accelerated molecules crashing into other molecules reduce the efficiency. So better calculate with 5 * 10 power 29 Joule.
    Let's assume 1000 warships deliver this energy in 100 million seconds, about 3 years. This would mean, that one warships delivers 5 * 10 power 18 Jules per second. That's one billion average sized nuclear power plants.

    How can Earth warships without energy shields have any chance against a power like this?

    The power of the Convenant weapons at fighting Earth ships and at glassing are a huge mismatch.

  • Me hide? Sure on the Covenant ship I board .. I'm a soldier my job is to kill the xenos bastards or die trying . So by "hide from glassing " I mean get aboard their ships and kill them.

    "Dear humanity we regret being alien bastard's, we regret coming to Earth and we most definitely regret that the Infantry just blew up our raggedy -ass fleet . "

    Paraphrasing of course lol. But still alien invasion of Earth means we're all combat troops now. And those alien couldn't have picked a worst race than the human race to fight.

    We kill each other daily what makes them think we won't slaughter them.

  • This is the covenant not a present day earth still trying to figure out the periodic table. Where talking nova bomb creations

  • The Covenant actually had around 250 ships to glass the planet. Though they had originally 750 ships, most of them were destroyed by nuclear mines and ODP' s.

  • The covenant used 341 ships to invaded reach when they started to glass the planet they used low range bombardment to mostly go for key areas of life like large body’s of water so they can render the planet lifeless because it would still take a long time to completely glass a entire planet

  • Why is Reach so young, earth is 4.5 billion years old and it’s way smaller. Also I’d hide in vault 13.

  • There is no outer space. The planets and stars are in a contained system. We are under glass now. That is how our atmosphere is contained. The empty space vacuum Nasa pushes would have sucked up everything. Fuel and fire do not burn without oxygen, so the moon landing was a fake video composition here on earth. There is no way the rocket could have taken off from the moon. There is no propulsion in an empty vacuum, nor can fire burn. The gasses in our upper atmosphere act like liquid and the rockets blew up when reaching the glass dome.

  • They do not use plasma beams for glassing a planet. The energy projectors are used for accurate, low level glassing. For planetary glassing, the covenant ships will clusters and aim their plasma batteries at a single point. Once discharged, the plasma is merged to form a single massive ball of plasma which is then hurtled toward the planet (its called a plasma lance), the effects resembling a nuclear explosion.

  • Actually "glassing" is propaganda used by both factions. Covenant doesnt actually turn planets to glass, they just plasma bombard conquered planets substantially enough to exterminate all (human) life on it. Polarcaps get melted,seas boiled, etc. Only major population centers and farmland get heavy enough bombardment to actually turn into glass. But yea, it takes long anyway

  • first, i've never seen an account of the true scale of the covanant as a whole (so i assume they would bring one helluva fleet to glass a planet) as for where to hide…. its either roast on top, or roast from the planets core temps… and oceans are no good either, if you burn off everything else (oxygen burns too) the water will be just as lifeless…oh yeah, and without an atmosphere the water would evaporate anyway… nope, covanant shows up, thats it.

  • A complete "glassing" would be unlikely but to say that a fleet of 150+ ships glassing at least more than 60% of the surface would suffice since it would still wreak ecological havoc on that planet rendering it uninhabitable for plenty of years.

  • Couldn't they just produce the minimum amount of heat needed to trigger runaway greenhouse effect? What about the effects of the beam's magnetic properties? Could they be used to trigger EMP blasts?

  • That's nice math and good vid. But I don't think they glassed everything on reach. There was some business about forerunner artifacts being there under the mountain. And plus they were using plasma beams based on forerunner tech so our human plasma science knowledge probably doesn't apply much there

  • I see a lot of people in the comments doubting that the Covenant would glass entire planets.
    I'm here to say that they did do it, but it was rare, and considered a special occasion. It was only done to planets considered important enough to warrant diverting thousands upon thousands of ships to complete the glassing.
    There's actually a point in Halo 2 where you see a bunch of "crystals" hanging from the ceiling in High Charity. I forget the exact number of them, but those crystals are actually glass shards from fully-glassed worlds that they kept as trophies.
    Most of the time, the Covenant would just glass cities. Reach is such a case.

  • the stiffen bunker Ottawa 2 stores under the earth and thanks to the halo lore videos before halo 5 came out I know the glassing of a planet doesn't effect anything after  a couple of stores under ground only destroying the surface

  • why would they glass the whole planet?seems a bit autistic. Reach wasn't even densely populated

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