As anyone from a galaxy far, far away would know, the planet-destroying Death Star from "Star Wars" ran on hypermatter -- a form of propulsion that destroyed faster-than-light particles known as tachyons to release their energy. But what if, somehow, the Death Star found itself in orbit around 21st-century Earth, needing to use only our fuel sources to power itself? How many AA batteries would it take to keep the massive menacing machine powered?
According to a new infographic released by retail site Ebates -- and shown to CNET's Crave blog before anyone else -- the Death Star would need to be filled with 1.6 x 10^28 AA Duracells to do its thing. That's 1.6 followed by 28 zeros, in case math hurts your brain (like it does mine). "Stacked end to end, these batteries would measure 84.5 billion light-years, almost enough to stretch across the observable universe," says the graphic.
I know, usually you're thinking of those little batteries singly, or in clusters of just two to four, powering your wireless mouse, TV remote or toy controller.
Of course, there are other fuel sources on Earth and the infographic does a good job of showing how they might all help power various gear in the "Star Wars" universe. For example, a light saber would need 650 car batteries to cut through steel blast doors, the cannons on an X-wing fighter would use 9.8 barrels of oil per discharge, and a shot from a blaster would require 14 -- the new in-home battery from inventor Elon Musk that will store electricity from solar panels or the main grid.
In addition to just providing the simple math, the graphic does a good job of equating the numbers with real-world examples. The amount of oil needed by a turbolaser aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer, for instance, would be the same as that needed to drive a third of the way to our sun.
There are lots of little nuggets of information like that in the graphic below, so study up, young Padawan. If you want even more information on how the figures were calculated, see the blog where it's embedded on Ebates.