Dyson spheres and the quest for alien megastructures – Asia Times

Dyson spheres and the quest for alien megastructures - Asia Times

There are three methods for locating evidence of extraterrestrial modern societies. One is to look out for deliberate attempt by them to speak their existence, for instance, through radio broadcast. Another is to look for proof that they have visited the Solar System. A second option is to look for indications of significant engineering tasks in place.

A group of astronomers has used the next method by examining current astronomical study data to identify seven “deserving of additional analysis” candidates for humanoid megastructures known as Dyson spheres.

This is a comprehensive research looking for “oddballs” among celebrities – objects that might be mysterious megastructures. But, the authors are careful not to make any exaggerated claims. The seven items, all located within 1, 000 light-weight- decades of Earth, are” M- dwarfs” — a group of stars that are smaller and less beautiful than the Sun.

Freeman Dyson initially suggested using Dyson circles in 1960 as a tool for an advanced civilization to harness the power of a star. They would take up more and more area before finally encircling nearly the entire sun like a circle, consisting of floating power lovers, factories, and habitats.

What Dyson understood was that these megastructures may be recognizable. Dyson’s personal ( which the group searched for in the recent research ) is a significant excess of ultraviolet rays.

Because megastructures would absorb the visible light that the star emits, they would n’t be able to harness it all. Instead, they’d had to “dump” extra strength as ultraviolet light with a little longer wavelength.

However, such light can also be a trademark of a lot of other things, such as a ball of gas and dust, or cylinders of stars and other particles. But the seven promising candidates are n’t obliviously due to a disc, as they were n’t good fits to disc models.

The visible light from the sun falls as the megastructure passes in front of it, which is another characteristic of the Dyson circle. For a trademark has already been discovered. There was a lot of enjoyment about Tabby’s sun, or Kic 8462852, which showed some truly unexpected dips in its light that could be owing to an mysterious megastructure.

Image of Tabby's Star in infrared and ultraviolet.
Tabby’s Star in infrared ( left ) and ultraviolet ( right ) Image: Wikipedia

It almost certainly is n’t an alien megastructure. Components of natural theories, such as comet clouds passing through a dust cloud, have been suggested. But it is an unusual study. A clear follow-up to the seven individuals would be to look for this name as well.

The situation against Dyson circles

Dyson circles may well not yet exist, however. They are, in my opinion, improbable to be there. That’s not to say they could n’t exist; rather, any civilization that could build them would probably not (unless it was some major art project ).

According to Dyson, advanced civilizations may have a lot of energy requirements before they could be considered for such megastructures. Around the same time, scientist Nikolai Kardashev suggested a scale to assess the development of civilizations, which was almost entirely based on their energy consumption.

In the 1960s, this sort of made feeling. Looking back over history, mankind simply kept rapidly increasing its energy use as the use of technology increased and the population grew, so they simply extrapolated this ever-increasing need into the future.

However, our global energy use has started to grow much more gradually over the past 50 years, and particularly over the last century. Furthermore, Dyson and Kardashev not specified what these enormous levels of power would be used for; rather, they simply assumed that sophisticated alien civilizations would need them to accomplish whatever task they did.

However, as we now look forward to new technologies, we can see efficiency, miniaturization, and nanotechnologies promising significantly lower power consumption ( practically all technologies ‘ performance per watt is consistently improving ).

A rapid analysis reveals that we would need a surface area of 1 billion Rocks to be able to capture 10 % of the Sun’s power at the range where the Earth is from the Sun. And if we could build the megastructure with super-modern technology that was only 10 kilometers wet, that would require about a million Earths for of materials.

Our Solar System only has about 100 Earths worth of strong stuff, but our sophisticated alien civilization would need to destroy all the planets in 10,000 planetary systems and transport it to the star to construct their Dyson sphere. Each component of the megastructure could only have one meter of thickness to accomplish this with the material that was present in a single system.

This is done assuming they utilize every element in a planet system. If they needed, say, lots of carbon to make their structures, then we’re looking at dismantling millions of planetary systems to get hold of it. Now, I’m not saying a super- advanced alien civilization could n’t do this, but it is one hell of a job.

I have no idea how, but they are a very advanced civilization, but I have a strong suspicion that by the time a civilization reached the point where it could build a Dyson sphere, they would have a better way of obtaining the power than to use a star ( I have no idea how ), which would be the case.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it ca n’t hurt to look.

Simon Goodwin is Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Sheffield

This article was republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.