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Looking for Aliens? We Should Focus on Supercomputers First, Says Scientist

Image for Representation, Credits: Reuters

Image for Representation, Credits: Reuters

The idea of Dyson Sphere is to create such a large structure that it engulfs a star to be able to absorb large amounts of energy from it.

Scientists are yet to discover life on other planets, though one researcher from the University of Oxford says that if we want to locate aliens, we should look for theoretical star-sized structures called Dyson spheres. “What Freeman Dyson did in his Dyson sphere paper is, of course, point out that, actually, we might want to look for industrial activities that are not intended to communicate,” said Anders Sandberg of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute during an interview with Vice.

The idea of the Dyson Sphere is to create such a large structure that it engulfs a star to be able to absorb large amounts of energy from it. The structure would not normally be seen in nature and would be extremely visible. And this idea was considered crazy a few decades back because it was so extreme.

Over the last few decades, scientific thoughts on the subject have shifted from overly negative to optimistic. The Kepler Space Telescope discovered in 2014 that Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars are likely numerous.

If humanity is any indication, any advanced society or civilization would require large quantities of energy, and this is where the Dyson sphere star-sized supercomputer will come in. Though energy collection is just one of the uses that advanced extraterrestrial life may be using Dyson Sphere for. It can be used as a living space and much more.

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These searches make use of the idea that a Dyson sphere is warmed by its star, causing it to shine brilliantly with infrared radiation. A structure that enveloped a star would be observable to our eyes from great distances just as a star is noticeable to our eyes from great distances owing to its overabundance of brightness.

Though humanity is a long way from reaching the level of sophistication to be able to create a Dyson Sphere; if it were to come to a reality, it would produce 400 septillions watts of energy per second. This amount of energy would be more than 1 trillion times more than humanity uses in a year.

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first published:June 15, 2021, 11:45 IST