SETI@home Update, March 23, 2004:In Search of Dyson Spheres

The great sphere had been in place since time immemorial. There was a time, ancient legends told, when one could see stars in a dark night sky, a time when The People had lived on a single planet orbiting in the open vastness of space. The great sphere had done away with all that, enclosing all the planets of the inner planetary system and the Sun itself in a giant solid shell. It had been the greatest project ever undertaken by The People, and it had been well worth the effort. Enclosed by the great sphere, the Sun was now a source of unlimited energy, forever solving the most troublesome problem of this advanced technological civilization. These days one could see a red glow in the night sky, a sign that the enormous shell was absorbing the heat emanating from the Sun and trapped within the great sphere. The glow had been there for so long that no one could now imagine a world not enclosed by the great sphere and its dull red aura.

Dr. Freeman Dyson

read the Full Story at the The Planetary Society

more about Dysons Spheres

The Dyson sphere in the Star Trek TNG episode “Relics”

Dyson Sphere FAQ

The reddish aura of the sphere glows day and night, bearing a message to all who might be out there of the work and power of The People. There may come a day when another race will take note of the shimmering red sphere. And then, The People will no longer be alone.

Sir Ulli

To provide for future growth, the human race will need to capture much more of the Sun’s light. It could do this with a Dyson sphere: a spherical shell, 2 to 3 meters thick, centered on the Sun and rotating around it at about twice the orbital distance of the Earth (see Note 1 below). The material for building the sphere, Dyson suggested, could come from disassembling the planet Jupiter and utilizing the minerals and metals from its deep interior

Too many mushrooms…

:cuckoo: indeed.
Had me checking the calender to make sure its not April 1st already.

This concept has been used by many Science fiction writers , although most go for the similar ‘ring’ option , just the ‘tropical’ or equatorial band as this is the only area that has usefull spin induced ‘gravity’ .

Ringword by Larry Niven is one book that springs to mind.

It might work if.

There was enough matter orbiting the sun to build such a thing. There isn’t. The bulk of the material orbitiing the sun is Hydrogen and some Helium in the gas giants.

More energy would be required than could be generated by Hydrogen fusion utilizing all of the matter in the outer planets for orbital change of the material required to build the sphere.

Although our Sun is five billion years old and has another five to go, in one billion years it is predicted to heat to the point where life on Earth will be cooked.

Since perfect fusion reactors would be needed to build the sphere, why build the sphere at all. Wouldn’t it just be easier to “burn” Jupiter? Jupiter would easily last the billion years.

touch harsh Mr Chantril, I woulda thought a making a vacuum cleaner work on the sun would be impossible :confused: Thats one hell of an extension lead :lol:


…sits watching topic go waaaay over my head

Originally posted by DoubleTop
…I woulda thought a making a vacuum cleaner work on the sun would be impossible… Thats one hell of an extension lead

What’s the problem, DT? No extension lead needed - you are right next to the energy source.

The only problem I could see with the Dyson sphere theory, is that as you have a mini sun as a source of heat and light on the inside, what stops the radiation from it frying everything to a crisp?

There aint no Van Allen belt on the inside…

I’ve read all of the stories of Dyson spheres Sir Uli pointed out. I remember reading about these ideas postulated at the dawn of the space age when I was a child in the 1960’s.

One, put forth by Arthur C. Clarke describing geo stationary orbits, came to pass. It was first described in a short paper called “Extra-terrestrial Relays” here. It was brought to wide public attention in “The Fountains of Paradise” which is about the construction of a space elevator.

Most of the rest of the ideas of this era either had fatal flaws in logic or in its implicit assumptions. Dyson spheres fall into both categories.

I didn’t think I had heard of this one for thirty years until I was reminded how Geordi in one episode looked at the bridge’s viewscreen said “a Dyson Sphere”. It’s an idea whose time has past.