Alderaan and the Death Star explode outward in all directions. I'm not a scientist by any stretch so these questions may be completely stupid.
But, in the case of Alderaan, how could a laser blast (or gas enveloped in a photon envelope ) first A) explode a planet and B) cause the ball of rock to explode outward in all directions? Exactly what would an energy beam like that do to a planet to cause it to explode.
In the case of the Death Star, it makes more sense I guess because in both cases, the kill shot came from the core causing an explosion outward in all directions.
That being the case for the planet and the station, what's with the shockwave ring that resembles a flat disk? If there was a shockwave at all, why wouldn't it too expand outward in all directions equally? So instead of a disk like expansion, wouldn't it by more like a growing sphere leaving the exploding ball?