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Astronomers search for Dyson Spheres


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#1    Saru

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:36 AM

Three astronomers have been awarded a grant to assist them in locating Dyson Spheres in space.

The Atlantic said:

Last month a trio of astronomers led by Penn State's Jason Wright began a two-year search for Dyson Spheres, a search that will span the Milky Way, along with millions of other galaxies.

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#2    Lilly

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:43 AM

Great article, I loved the closing line:

Quote

Wright noted. "I can tell you, it's strange to write a serious research proposal and have half of your bibliography be science fiction."


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#3    Eldorado

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:52 AM

Apologies but am imagining them using a Dyson vacuum cleaner with a very, very long flex.


#4    Mikami

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:30 PM

lol Swarm of collectors....


#5    synchronomy

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:53 PM

Sounds like a big waste of cash.
In searching for life elsewhere, it makes far more sense to broaden the search to cover a far wider spectrum of life indicators, than to narrow the field to only those potential civilizations using a single technology which is only a proposed theory which may only be used for a relatively short time by a single civilization.
SETI narrows the field to only those using radio transmission.  Now this narrows the field further to only those using solar collectors, completely bypassing advanced civilizations using fusion, or some refinement of sources of energy we have not even dreamed of.
It make far more sense to look for life in a "big picture" sense than searching only for life that can "ride bicycles" for instance.
I am gobsmacked at how foolish this is.

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan

#6    pallidin

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:22 PM

My humble take on this is that a Dyson sphere would be so expensive. I see no reasons that special nuclear power plants, especially from advanced civilizations, would not be able to produce the necessary energy.

Edited by pallidin, 08 October 2012 - 05:33 PM.


#7    Oppono Astos

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:36 PM

View PostEldorado, on 08 October 2012 - 10:52 AM, said:

Apologies but am imagining them using a Dyson vacuum cleaner with a very, very long flex.
Or indeed the ball on the back of certain models...

Who is the skeptic: the realist who won't accept belief, or the believer who won't accept reality?

#8    keithisco

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:44 PM

I would have thought that a "Swarm of collectors" even if not a Dyson Sphere per se, would be extremely prone to Solar flare activity and other magnetic / cosmic degradation to make such a venture unviable both technically and economically.

As pointed out in Synchronomy's post - a civilisation advanced sufficiently to create a Dyson Sphere would almost certainly be sufficiently advanced to have "cracked" Fusion, and Fusion reactors orbiting the home planet (if space was a limiting factor on the planet itself) would be much easier to construct and maintain. IMO


#9    bison

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:04 PM

As the astronomers will be searching for unexpectedly high levels of mid-infrared radiation, they will, in effect, be looking for the waste heat that would probably be produced by  *any* very high technology stellar civilization, whether they use Dyson spheres, or some other method of  energy production. They might instead use matter-antimatter reactions, or some method we haven't any hint of yet.


#10    Nathan DiYorio

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:47 PM

View Postkeithisco, on 08 October 2012 - 07:44 PM, said:

I would have thought that a "Swarm of collectors" even if not a Dyson Sphere per se, would be extremely prone to Solar flare activity and other magnetic / cosmic degradation to make such a venture unviable both technically and economically.

As pointed out in Synchronomy's post - a civilisation advanced sufficiently to create a Dyson Sphere would almost certainly be sufficiently advanced to have "cracked" Fusion, and Fusion reactors orbiting the home planet (if space was a limiting factor on the planet itself) would be much easier to construct and maintain. IMO

Clearly, being capable of one impossible feat means being capable of all other impossible feats, right?

Edited by Xetan, 08 October 2012 - 08:48 PM.

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#11    TheMacGuffin

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:52 PM

By all means, let us look for artificial objects in space and gigantic constructions, if we can find any.

What was this thing, by the way?

Posted Image


#12    Melo -

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:20 PM

dyson shperes hah? *looks at vacuum*


#13    keithisco

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:54 PM

View PostXetan, on 08 October 2012 - 08:47 PM, said:

Clearly, being capable of one impossible feat means being capable of all other impossible feats, right?

Why do you consider either feat to be impossible? That is not what my post says at all.


#14    keithisco

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:00 PM

View PostTheMacGuffin, on 08 October 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

By all means, let us look for artificial objects in space and gigantic constructions, if we can find any.

What was this thing, by the way?

Posted Image
It would be nice to have a Link to this specifically...


#15    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:12 PM

View Postkeithisco, on 08 October 2012 - 10:00 PM, said:


It would be nice to have a Link to this specifically...
It would be even nicer if it was on topic.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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