Base Delta Zero
Base Delta Zero is the codename for what is essentially the destruction of a world and destruction of most life forms on it by orbital bombardment.
The Imperial Sourcebook describes this operation as "the systematic complete destruction of all 'assets' of production, including factories, arable land, mines, fisheries, and all sentient beings and droids." It is a "scorched Earth" attack the leaves the planet useless to all factions in a conflict.
The BDZ operation is truly catastrophic, reducing "a civilized world to slag" and rendering "a planet's surface to smoking debris in a matter of hours." Notable BDZ operations have left worlds uninhabitable nearly 40 years after the BDZ was performed on it (ref. Spectre of the Past, p. 166) and have left worlds with no atmosphere and completely atomized top soil (ref. Scavenger Hunt, p.3)
Going by pg. 89 of the Star Wars Technical Journal, which states that a world can have its surface reduced to "smoking debris in a matter of hours", the time limit on a BDZ operation can be placed within a few hours; however, the exact time required is not known.
The degree of destruction, time required for the operation, and resources required (numbers and types of warships) are hotly debated in "versus" circles. BDZ incidents occur entirely in "Expanded Universe" sources, leading Trekkies to deny the validity of arguments based on them.