In March 2013 I wrote an entry here called “A Few Dyson Spheres in Every Galaxy“. A few days ago there was an article about KIC 8462852, or Tabby’s star. There is a mystery as to what is causing the star light to partially blink at regular intervals. They have ruled out obvious candidates such as planets, comets or other natural astronomical phenomenon. Some scientists are playing with the idea that we may have discovered our first Dysons Sphere.
16 thoughts on “Follow Up Post on Dysons Spheres”
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Well I have to admit that I am going to have to go back a reread the article on Dyson Spheres, because I did kind of forget what they were a little bit, so forgive me there. I do remember that they are man-made, if I am not mistaken, so I am a little confused and curious about this possibility. It is fascinating to think about, especially when you consider the idea of harnessing the sun’s energy for even one second. Thanks for sharing, and I will certainly stay tuned in.
It’s really exciting to think that we live in the era when we may finally be figuring this stuff out – the same as with the recent microscopic ship to Alpha Centauri idea proposed by Stephen Hawking. It wasn’t until I read about a Dyson Sphere in a book (I can’t remember the name, but it wasn’t anything massively popular like Ringworld) that I realised how much of the energy put out by the Sun we don’t tap into. What we could achieve if we actually managed to harness that – it would be mindblowing!
This is crazy, man. Imagine that? Taking your past article as an example, that would mean that there’s a possibility that a civilization is in there, and again, making reference to the article, it’s a way more advanced civilization than we are! Somehow they made up to get the enough material to built up the whole thing. That would maybe be one of the firsts signals of superior intelligence on this century, and that’s so cool and really scary at the same time.
It might take less matter than you think. If you go with the original idea of the Dyson Sphere, now known as a Dyson Swarm or Bubble, as independent satellites that capture energy through a shared field rather than a solid shell it wouldn’t take that much matter to actually build one as the satelites only have to be at key points. It is amazing to think that something like that could be out there, and more amazing if we’ve actually found it.
I’d imagine that the idea could start out as a swarm, and develop into something more solid over time? It’s fairly easy to imagine a handful of satellites being put into place at strategic points – perhaps in orbit around Venus, to harness energy for an expedition to set up a permanent base there and begin terraforming, for instance. Then, over time, more and more otherwise wasted energy could be tapped into, until a star is surrounded by a more or less solid sphere.
The problem with a solid shell is that while satellites can orbit the star (some writers suggest using the star’s magnetic field to manage altitude), moving with the star, a shell won’t. It presents the problems of positioning a shell so that neither side is pulled into the star, flares don’t hit it, and that it moves with the star. This is why Dyson suggested satellites.
There is so little we know about space that it could be anything. When they launched the Hubble telescope it opened a whole new world for us. That was in 1990 imagine what we could build now. I think that to get a better view of space we should build something bigger and better.
Oh wow, that’s really exciting! I really need to read up more on dyson spheres. I would love to know what they actually are (especially since I have an interest in physics.)
Same thoughts here, I got lost in Dyson shells, rings and swarms for quite a while there and had some interesting conversations with my spouse too. Dyson spheres (apparently a blanket term for the aforementioned) are a truly fascinating concept, but (or maybe because?) there are so many things I don’t understand. How could anyone need that much energy? Wouldn’t a Dyson shell completely destroy the rest of the solar system? And so forth.
Cool, Star Maker is coming to reality! What intriguing times we live in.
Perhaps we’re just *that* much closer to finding extraterrestrial life out there? At any rate, the concept of a Dyson-type structure out in the wild like that is amazing! I’m personally open to the idea of something that big, that far out of the realm of possibility for our technology, existing out there because let’s face it, the universe is a big place. Exciting stuff. And regardless of what the cause may be, the behavior of Tabby’s Star is indeed interesting, and it’d always be nice to know what’s happening, expanding our knowledge of the universe and whatnot.
I absolutely love the idea of possible finding a Dyson Sphere out there in the universe, and with it perhaps other intelligent life? Or at least the knowledge that other intelligent life did exist at one point. But I’m sure the scientists tossing that idea around are considering many other possibilities as well, we still only know so much about stars, but it is exciting to consider!
It’s possible that Tabby’s star is not just a simple Dyson sphere for energy collection. It could be a stellar engine, which if memory serves me right, is a Dyson sphere built only for a single purpose like the Matrioshka brain which is one Dyson sphere or shell on top of another for extremely large computations.
I’m always fascinated by these kind of stuff, I always think of our times when we will reach this kind of advancement in our current technology, I’ve read somewhere that to build a Dyson sphere a civilization must be type 2 or something, unfortunately we will not witness these advancements we will be long gone before this happen.
When it comes to heavenly bodies, you can never be too sure and the most we can do is just hypothesize. As far as the issue of Dyson sphere is concerned, it’s not altogether impossible even if earth scientists are yet to prove it. Maybe this sphere is the reason why black holes suck things inward. It will take centuries before mankind arrives at the right answer.
How could a Dyson sphere cause a black hole? A black hole is a dense body in space but a Dyson sphere is simply a structure that obits around some star.