Alien Post #13: Dyson Spheres

Geoff Marcy, an astronomer at U-Cal Berkeley, discovered 70 of the first 100 exoplanets ever found.

He worked with the robotic telescope Kepler as it harvested light from distant worlds and recently he put together a project for Kepler that has interesting implications.

The Kepler telescope watches as a stars brightness dims due to a planet moving in front of it as it orbits. This is how it finds planets. Marcy decided that assuming there are hyper-advanced alien civilizations out there somewhere, it’s possible we aren’t looking entirely at planets, but something far less natural:

Marcy was awarded $200,000 from the Templeton Foundation to search for things called “Dyson spheres”.

What are those you ask? Imagine a solar panel. Now imagine a huge array of solar panels. Now imagine a huge array of solar panels wrapped around a star. Now imagine how much energy that would generate.

These theoretical machines would be wrapped around entire stars and could produce the energy needed to support a super advanced, possibly interstellar, civilization.

Using his grant money, Marcy is going to lease time to use the Keck Observatory and develop methods to hunt for things like Dyson spheres that would indicate advanced extra terrestrial intelligence. This all while scouring through the Kepler data, looking for aberrations that would indicate we may not be looking at a planet after all.

Well, considering that Dyson Spheres are physically implausible if not impossible, that seems like a huge waste of time and money. Implausible because of the enormous gravitational pull they’d experience at the poles especially, where they don’t benefit from the centrifugal force of rotation around the parent star. Even if they wouldn’t cave in under their own weight, anything not firmly bolted down would fall off into the star.
Not to mention that a perfect Dyson Sphere would be effectively invisible, only to be seen as it blots out another star in passing, which will be extremely rare and non-periodic so very hard to confirm as actual event.

Actually there are some misconceptions here:

- gravity is directly proportional to the distance from the object you’re orbiting. In all directions. The gravity at the poles is the same as the gravity over a star’s equator.

- An orbit is not caused by the centrifugal force of the rotation around the object being orbited: The International Space Station doesn’t orbit Earth because Earth’s rotation maintains it.

All an orbit is is you moving forward faster than you fall. Thus a spherical object’s curvature would move away from you faster than it would come towards you due to free fall.

An orbit around the poles is the same as any other and we actually do it with satellites.

Also things in space are unlikely to collapse due to their “own weight” anything in space is weightless

- The most common star systems in the universe are “binary” systems in which two stars orbit around a common center of mass.

Stars transit each other all the time and a Dyson sphere being around one of them would be possible according to the laws of physics and therefore is something to watch out for (if you want to go that way in your life).

I hope this helps! :)




Harry Potter au where Harry didn’t lose being a parsletongue and Albus buys a snake as a pet one year because snakes are cool and one day just walks in on Harry and the snake having a deep conversation

Albus is 17 and loses his virginity in his room and forgets the snake talks to his dad and when Harry gets home the snake is all like OH MY GOSH YOU’D NEVER GUESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS WHAT HAPPENED


How to finish that last minute assignment








I can not count the number of times this trick has saved my ass.

And people say Tumblr doesn’t teach you life skills…

this will come in handy one day


Reblogging for future reference..