The Astronomer Who Wanted to Rearrange the Solar System, Using Nukes

‘CalTech astronomer Fritz Zwicky was the first to conceive of dark matter, supernovas and neutron stars. He also had a theory about colonizing the solar system using nuclear bombs. We could terraform other planets, he argued, by pulverizing them and then moving them closer or further from the sun.

If you’ve never heard of Zwicky, you’re not alone. Virtually the entire public was unaware of his accomplishments, largely due to his abrasive personality and unique gift for alienating himself from the scientific establishment. “Astronomers are spherical bastards,” he once said. “No matter how you look at them they are just bastards.”

And, while many of his theories were proven right, Zwicky also advocated what could be charitably described as “eccentric” ideas—most notably, his proposals for using nuclear explosives to reconstruct the solar system.’ (io9)