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Are Dyson Sphere's Realistic? [Analysis]

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posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 01:52 PM
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Our perception of the implications of a "Dyson Sphere" seems fundamentally flawed in my opinion. The idea is that a growing civilization will eventually achieve total power requirements comparable to the output of the local star. If so, then surely such a civilization would not construct a Dyson Sphere. One doesn't simply, for instance, double power requirements over night for an entire established planet. So then the consideration for the necessity of undertaking the project of a Dyson Sphere would sooner be brought on by a 0.1% global energy deficit, which is in itself critical. If the technology, resources and anticipated eventual need for a Dyson Sphere exists, then some idealists may imagine it's value, only to at best lose out to apparent short-term impracticability and society's imprudence, or sociology. In other words, the energy infrastructure already exists for this theoretical society and though their power requirements approach the output of the local star, we can't anticipate that they'd scrap their existing energy production and replace that infrastructure with an eventual Dyson Sphere.

I can't imagine a reason for a civilization to construct such a device, unless they were doing so in a star system which isn't already established, in preparation for introducing an immediately extensive colony, like how the Chinese build entire metropolises for later inhabitation. However, this would imply a "Type 3 Civilization," not the "Type 2" others have suggested. The only alternatives I can conceive seem less likely. For instance, an envisioned scientific endeavor of great prominence in their culture, with tremendous and unprecedented power requirements, could potentially inspire a project as this.

I imagine the concept of a Dyson Sphere could also be adapted to allow for a military purpose, such as harnessing the stars output to power a massive directed energy weapon and/or for propulsion. This would imply either a "planet buster" heavy weapons platform, if not a "galaxy buster" as observed from 3C321, or a literal "Death Star." The concept of a Dyson Sphere could also be updated to allow for a star to be utilized as an Active-SETI or other beacon, perhaps not unlike the myriad pulsars we've discovered, especially those that don't appear to operate at a pattern, or which operate at patterns that don't seem to make sense if they're naturally occurring. Lastly, a a more mundane motivation may exist, such as deep space telemetry. They may want to scan as much of the surrounding universe as possible, or it might have a less general purpose, such as scanning for incoming threats from very deep space, be they hostile craft, asteroids, GRBs, or other inbound destructive forces.

Whatever the case, ET doesn't seem likely to construct a Dyson Sphere to offset a civil energy deficit. In fact, I wouldn't expect them to construct a Dyson Sphere at all. By the time they achieve the need, technology and resources for such a project, I'd anticipate that they'd have arrived at a more practical solution to their power needs. That may not always be the case though. A seemingly infinite universe seems to imply that everything should happen, at least once. Still, it seems unlikely that a Dyson Sphere should be common, and if not, it seems unlikely that we should detect one, and if so, it seems unlikely that we observe a Dyson Sphere.

Not to mention the resources necessary just to maintain such a large and massive object. Conventionally, it should attract catastrophic damage on a constant basis, as that's the nature of massive objects in space. They're magnets for everything destructive. I'd highly suggest leveling the moons topography then practicing keeping the surface of our moon smooth before taking the leap to Dyson Sphere. Or have we forgotten the ESA Olympus?
edit on 10-2-2016 by Navarro because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 01:58 PM
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I agree. Once you reach a certain level of technology, there's no real need to bother with trying to contain the energy of a star. The universe is your oyster, as it were, and you carry your own stars around with you in the form of fusion generators (trans-dimensional, of you got 'em).

The Dyson Sphere concept was apparently born out of World War isolationism, where virulent imperialism was seen as bad and the best thing a person (or species) could do was hunker down, enjoy and completely control its own backyard.
edit on 10-2-2016 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 02:02 PM
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Why do we need to build suns, we already have one…

Sounds like delaying tactics to me. Big oil and nookler want to keep their dominion as long as possible.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 02:03 PM
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I have never been convinced that Dyson Spheres were likely.

"Culture" Orbitals (Banks) or even a "Ringworld" (Niven) maybe, but when you have the technology to build a Dyson Sphere - even assuming there is enough matter in the system to buid one (not sure the maths add up)! - you surely have the technology for ftl travel and to colonise myriads of other solar systems?



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

I think you may be looking at this wrong.
I don't think first off it would simply be for the planet earth. At that point we would be all over the solar system and looking to go further. We would have mining colonies and possible planetary outposts as well as large ships in space. That would need to be built in space.

The Dyson sphere would accumulate over time rather than appear over night. As more power was needed for mining and building. Probably over 100's of years.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 02:17 PM
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I suppose that the question is whether you see Earth as somehow still being "Home" rather than humanity -- or more likely our intelligent machine offspring -- spreading through the universe like pollen. Centralized, like a castle in a Medieval village, versus decentralized, like the Internet.

When the Dyson Sphere idea was cooked up, it was likely not assumed that we would ever figure out how to harness atomic fusion power, or more exotic power sources like zero-point. So nobody ever considered that our AI machines would simply fly around the universe with their little Mr. Fusion on their ships, stopping to gather up materials at various asteroids and planets along the way to build more ships to continue the journey, and so on indefinitely.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 02:20 PM
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We can't anticipate that a civilization would initiate a project which would require vast resources and labor for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, when the universe is itself only fourteen billion years old. Such a project would span entire generations of technology, meaning that it would seem probable that the Dyson Sphere would become obsolete long before its construction has been completed.

Imagine the frustration on the faces of the Mesopotamians when halfway through the construction of The Great Pyramid a technology is discovered which will allow a structure like The Great Pyramid to be built quicker than the current project can even be completed, and where this New Great Pyramid would be vastly cheaper in resources yet superior in end-quality.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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My thoughts were always that Dyson Spheres were unrealistic and necessary.

Think on this. We could put enough Solar, Wind and Hydro electric plants with technology now, to power the entire earth.

The Solar panels I put on my house last year are already outdated. There are panels one year later that double my current one's power and potential. In a couple of years it will have doubled again. and in Ten years again and in twenty years it will have double again and I'll have Tesla wall batteries to store that power. They will also be thousands of dollars cheaper. That's just one technology. now refine that technology a thousand years into the future and the power that we can produce from the sun will be astounding. The battery technology will be incomprehensible to us now. We'll be able to ship batteries to Mars in small rockets that can power full cities there.

Just my theory, but with that much potential why would you ever expend so many resources, man hours and energy constructing a Dyson Sphere? There is no need for it.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 02:38 PM
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a reply to: Blue Shift

Dyson spheres or a form of them are still being considered today by engineers and scientists. It's not just something from the 60's and isn't just a solid object surrounding the sun. In fact that version is the most unrealistic. Moat likely it would occur from many generations of people putting orbital satellites around the sun.

To be able to travel in space to any great distance we will need to construct these things in space which will take a lot of power. Obviously large crafts aren't going to be rocketing off the ground. That would be rediculous. Space stations and large orbital stations will need to be built in space and most ikely mined from space materials as well. We will probably have a station in the asteroid belt to handle mining.

It's more realistically called a Dyson swarm.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 04:10 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

The question is not if it is likely but is it possible and then to try to project that possibility over an alien consciousness which may not even be in any way similar to our own.

For me it is possible, given the fact that the dyson sphere may not even be a solid star trek like sphere but more a myriad of satellite like structures though for me the type of sun most likely to have one would be a red dwarf simply because of it's longevity as a viable star if it is that is just to obtain the energy.

Could a civilization get to the stage were it was possible to do this, well Yes is the answer as far as I can envisage, once they have become able to expand there population and civilization requirements into interstellar space it does become possible but why would then do so, well once again alien mind's and motivation's must be considered such as hive mind's or machine cultures, religion's or even mass exodus of huge populations back to a home system if for example an external force, perhaps even an alien alliance of concerned sentient species is concerned that a particular species is moving too far into the galaxy and so forces them back to there home world with the ultimatum - Go back or we will destroy you and reduce your world back to a sub technological state, quarantine you and reduce your ability to spread in the future if you ever re atain technology and the ability to travel the galaxy, if we ever let you that is and if we ever let you colonise again given your past agressive colonisation of many worlds including (as may be the case some where, some when) some which had or were going to have sentient native species and so as a trillions strong army are returned in an exostellar exodus back to there parent world and star maybe only a dyson sphere could hold them assuming they were allowed to retain there technology and had complied with the stronger external forces that had evicted them from world's they maybe should never have colonised (maybe they colonised at too great a rate and there growth potential had become a major concern for other species).

Then again there is no reason in a star wars or star trek like paradigm that multiple different sentient specious could not grow together into a diverse and cosmopolitan interstellar civlization or even federation or common wealth type set up once they achieve a level of technological parity and social compatibility necessary to fit into such a structure which may then share it's asset's and resources, maybe a dyson sphere would serve as a shared if otherwise perhaps pointless exercies in flexing the political muscle of such an interstellar government entity.

So machine's, unimaginative perhaps but tireless and maybe simply driven by the need to maximise there potential energy harvest, maybe not even intelligent but autonomous, hive species driven by instinct with a hive or shared species consciousness for whom spreading out into the galaxy may not be even a thought, the need to house a massive population that is far beyond the capability of any single planet or even all the natural planets of a solar system but not beyond that species ability to create as a shared habitat or even as a giant folly meant for other purposes then it's practical structural purpose would suggest.

But would the human race ever make one, not in our current dis unified state and mental or social evolutionary path but who know's, religion could perhaps provide a shared impetous to achieve the otherwise seemingly impossible, maybe even as a giant tomb or memorial for an inter planatery or galactic emperor or a civilization whom want to be remembered.
edit on 10-2-2016 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 04:11 PM
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Cities on this planet grew as ringworlds around rivers. Having access to freshwater was critical to farming and keeping domestic livestock as well as basic living. Once we started running out of rivers, new reservoirs were built.

The main obstacle to building a Dyson sphere is raw materials. We would need the energy to build construction ships, send them out into the asteroid fields, convert all that into metal panels and asteroid defence systems that would be slotted together into a ring, then a grid, and finally a complete shell.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 04:29 PM
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a reply to: AndyMayhew
I imagine that for such a feat to be at least potentially practical, then you may require some form of cheap conversion of energy into matter, perhaps via manipulation of the vacuum, in order to produce the needed materials locally, or even in-place. Otherwise I don't expect there to be sufficient raw materials within at least the Sol system to construct a viable sphere. Naturally, a civilization wouldn't completely deplete its system of every metal either. Most rich concentrations near the surface of the planets and large inner-system asteroids perhaps, but even that would be an incredibly massive undertaking. One which wouldn't be very fruitful considering there'd be insufficient resources even still.

Naturally, it would seem if you're capable of extracting materials from other systems and transporting them back to the star in question, then it sounds like energy isn't a problem for you and so you don't even require a Dyson Sphere. This is especially true if transit is faster than light. Similarly, the cost in energy to produce the sphere through conversion should be so vast that again you must not really need the sphere. The only that I can see which would avoid this issue is if the sphere isn't purposed for civil energy production. Military or scientific applications for instance. Even so, it sounds a highly unlikely prospect. Possible but impractical.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 04:41 PM
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a reply to: luthier
A Dyson Sphere would cover the sun, and would likely also not be immediately at its edge, but much further away. You're talking about an object which could fit every planet in our solar system and then some. I expect it to require every metal present within our solar system and then some again. Not only would it's diameter be incredibly large, but this shell would also need to be incredibly thick, and the metals well worked into the tough armor that would be required to sustain a constant barrage from incoming bodies attracted to the mass, for I assume millions of years.

It would certainly take far longer than "100's of years" to construct this.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

Good point, if they have mastered energy to matter conversion then a dyson sphere become's not just a possibility but perhap's even an inevitability as excess energy can litterally be automatically converted into living space and further energy gathering space, such a system if automated could concievably continue long after it's organic (or otherwise) creators had expired or even left that level of existance.

Truly interesting thought and non of us remembered it, well pointed out, a giant energy to matter system of construction converting the sun's energy back into matter, it is concievable though that such an intelligence would eventually learn to convert matter into organised energy and so leave the physical state of being behind but maybe they would still require physical structures such as this for some purpose.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 04:54 PM
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I've considered that nanites or otherwise robots may be what makes up the sphere. However, this would still take an incredibly long time. So long, that I imagine that there'd be far too many variables for the scenario to contend with to anticipate the result hoped for. We've already achieved an experiment where we observed a robot lying to other robots about whether or not it had located the materials they were tasked to seek out, seemingly in order that it hold that cache of resources for itself, just because it was programmed with the sole purpose of acquiring it. Any such machine would be adaptive, and hundreds of thousands or millions of years later, I doubt they'll in any way resemble the machines originally manufactured, nor will their programming. This is a great way to create a mortal threat to your species though.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 05:00 PM
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originally posted by: Navarro
a reply to: luthier
A Dyson Sphere would cover the sun, and would likely also not be immediately at its edge, but much further away. You're talking about an object which could fit every planet in our solar system and then some. I expect it to require every metal present within our solar system and then some again. Not only would it's diameter be incredibly large, but this shell would also need to be incredibly thick, and the metals well worked into the tough armor that would be required to sustain a constant barrage from incoming bodies attracted to the mass, for I assume millions of years.

It would certainly take far longer than "100's of years" to construct this.



My brain does not always work too well these days' but this one got me thinking, why would it even have to be solid, perhaps the dyson sphere is a gas shell anchored in place by satellite's of some kind and solar radiation from it's star as well as solar wind and particle's generate energy by exciting the atom's in the gas which is then somehow harvested, perhaps some of this solar material is trapped and slowed as well, or the shell could as has been suggested be a broken structure part solid, part something else growing over time.

We don't build with non solid structure because we are thinking of structural applications but space is an entirely different environment, of course anchoring that gas or even semi solid in place would be problematic perhaps, still the solar wind from the star if the mass was low enough would serve to support if with internal pressure just like a football with it's internal gas, while the surface or shell's own connectivity be that solid or simply some form of attraction connecting it's parts would keep it from blowing away, I would imagine it to then be eliptical shape as the higher density of solar output would be in an outward force from it's spinning equator, there may also be opening's at the polar regions so a solid shell may not be likely if it was a non solid structure.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 05:17 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

A Dyson sphere in its first conception was a solid sphere. Since the 60's they have been referred to as a Dyson swarm. Which is a group of orbital satellites. It's very easy to look this stuff up. Popular mechanics, science journals what ever. Just Google Dyson sphere and plenty of info will come up.
m.huffpost.com...
edit on 10-2-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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a reply to: amazing
Not unlike Moore's Law regarding the rate at which processing power increases, or the theory that a manned intersteller mission without FTL would imply a ship that could be several times passed by more advanced ships over the next several thousand years of its journey. Between The Wright Brother's first flight and NASA's moon landing, spanned only a single human lifetime. If Space Shuttle Endeavor first flew less than a hundred years after the first flight of the Kittyhawk, I can think of few things more foolish than to launch a generational ship, or to begin a million year construction project.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 05:29 PM
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a reply to: Navarro

Exactly. The theory being. If we keep the same rate of technological advancement as we are seeing now over the next several decades, centuries and thousands of years, A Dyson Sphere or swarm would be an irrelevant structure. There would never be a need for it. There will never be a need for a Dyson Sphere/Swarm.



posted on Feb, 10 2016 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: amazing

There will never be a need to harness energy? There is only so much mechanical work you can do without energy. Don't confuse electronics for forging metal and building machines. There is no more efficient way to get energy than the energy that already exists.

Don't you think these cutting edge physicists and mathmaticians have thought of these things? It's kind of insulting to assume they haven't.

Harnessing energy will most ikely not be irrelevant. Especially with the extreme demand for energy while building in space.
edit on 10-2-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



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