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Partial Dyson Sphere?

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posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 07:53 PM
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A Dyson Sphere is a huge spherical structure erected around a star to completely harness most (if not all) the energy from it. The energy the sphere collects can be used to power ships that dock with it, or perhaps even provide enough energy to power entire civilizations.



Now here's an idea.. what if an alien species were to build a partial sphere around a star, leaving a "slice" completely open to space? If the sphere is rotating (as you might imagine it would do, being in orbit of a star) it would effectively turn the star into an enourmous "lighthouse". The light would shine briefly through the slice, then disappear again as the sphere rotated, from our perspective.

It would still collect a huge amount of energy, but have the added function of being an intergalactic beacon, that could be seen from almost anywhere within a galaxy (after the light has eventually reached far enough). Of course this "slice" could be of any size, a sphere with a large enough slice might be virtually undetectable (Imagine a pizza with only 1 slice left.)

We're currently at the stage of recognising different patterns of star movement in our search for planets. Detecting wobbles in the movement of stars, and the dimming of the light from the star as a planet orbits it. This may be something extra to keep in mind if we ever see a star begin to regularly disappear from view, or if the star's light simply dims as if a planet went in front of it.

Anyway, this is just some random thoughts I had on the matter, but I'd like to hear your opinions too. Do you think it's likely we'll ever detect an artifical structure around a star in this manner? Do you think any species would ever draw attention to themselves like this?




posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:08 PM
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reply to post by Pixus
 


Well, now that you've conceived this well thought out idea it may very well be taking place already in some parallel universe, according to quantum physics.
If ships would be docking with the Dyson sphere to fuel up this flashing beacon would be a good form of advertising to draw in the customers.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:23 PM
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I know that Dyson makes a fine vacuum cleaner...that hunky swedish dude has me sold!!



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:23 PM
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Whoops! I thought this was going to be about a conspiracy of broken vacuum cleaners or something.

My bad.






Sorry, I couldn't resist.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:29 PM
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It's a cool concept but frankly it strikes me as "yesterday's physics". With all we know of harnessing zero-point energy, which is literally what the fabric of space/time is made of, I'd like to think that such massive, bulky devices would be made obselete by such an advanced race.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:32 PM
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I would think by the time you reach the level of technology capable of creating such a device, that you would have advanced knowledge of energy so much that you would never NEED a dyson sphere.

By that point of technology, you could probably just harness the energy from cosmic radiation which is everywhere already. With that capability, you would never need such a primitive and clunky device such as a Dyson Sphere.

IMHO.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:36 PM
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please people Dyson was a fool and i dont care what universe your in NO ONE WILL BUILD THIS it wouldn't WORK right.
spine a ball at the equator 1 g at the poles 0 g the poles would have NO AIR and the father you get from the equator the less gravity you have and less air
a Dyson sphere would NEVER work right no way to keep the air anywhere EXCEPT near the equator 95% of it would be UNINHABITABLE
so why would any alien totaly destroy every planet in there system to build something they cant even use 95% of???? humm anyone chime in
man people watch to much scifi
also because of it being round the air will be lost into space as it gets farther from the equator eventaly being NO air left at all even at the equator
[edit on 2-6-2010 by xxcalbier]

[edit on 2-6-2010 by xxcalbier]



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:40 PM
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Originally posted by MissSmartypants
Well, now that you've conceived this well thought out idea it may very well be taking place already in some parallel universe, according to quantum physics.
If ships would be docking with the Dyson sphere to fuel up this flashing beacon would be a good form of advertising to draw in the customers.


Gotta love the Multiverse Theory. Also using it for advertising? Haha, hadn't though of that, excellent.



Originally posted by Son of Will
It's a cool concept but frankly it strikes me as "yesterday's physics". With all we know of harnessing zero-point energy, which is literally what the fabric of space/time is made of, I'd like to think that such massive, bulky devices would be made obselete by such an advanced race.


A very good point, however, we still don't know for certain that such energy can be harnessed at all, let alone produce the amounts of energy needed for intergalactic space travel.

I do agree that they would most likely use some other means to harness large amounts of energy though, you're right.



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:43 PM
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one the other have a donut like thing with the inside being open would work just fine then you have walls keeping in the air so it could be quite large say circles the star and the tread being ooo 1 million miles wide with the walls not a dyson spher but would still have one heck of alot of space taht could BE USED



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by xxcalbier
please people Dyson was a fool and i dont care what universe your in NO ONE WILL BUILD THIS it wouldn't WORK right.
spine a ball at the equator 1 g at the poles 0 g the poles would have NO AIR and the father you get from the equator the less gravity you have and less air
a Dyson sphere would NEVER work right no way to keep the air anywhere EXCEPT near the equator 95% of it would be UNINHABITABLE
so why would any alien totaly destroy every planet in there system to build something they cant even use 95% of???? humm anyone chime in
man people watch to much scifi
also because of it being round the air will be lost into space as it gets farther from the equator eventaly being NO air left at all even at the equator
[edit on 2-6-2010 by xxcalbier]

[edit on 2-6-2010 by xxcalbier]


That's assuming you actually use it for habitation at all.

Why couldn't it just be one huge power plant, used as a refuelling station for ships? Or perhaps the energy gathered in the sphere can be concentrated into a form of battery, that can then be taken to other planets in other solar systems?



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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reply to post by xxcalbier
 


The point of a Dyson Sphere is to harness 100% of a stars energy output, not provide a living area the size of a planetary orbit


You would have narrow bands of habitable space at the equators, and the rest would be dedicated to collecting energy.

Then again, your grammar and spelling capabilities are atrocious, so I will assume you can't hold a candle to one of the brightest physicists of the past century.

[edit on 2-6-2010 by D.E.M.]



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 09:08 PM
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Maybe some systems are so old, and the builders gone or extinct, they are falling apart and begin to let "flash" of light come through...

ka-tcha!



posted on Jun, 2 2010 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by Pixus
 


I once wondered if there was a spell or shield over our sun that the vatican and Illuminati know about, all those sun rituals and what not.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 06:28 AM
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Originally posted by xxcalbier
also because of it being round the air will be lost into space as it gets farther from the equator eventaly being NO air left at all even at the equator
Pixus and DEM beat me to it, but they're right! Where did the OP say anything about air? I think you missed the point about a Dyson Sphere.

Actually it's a simple thought experiment. We keep using more and more power and energy every year.
What is the ultimate source of this power? The sun.

So we cover the earth with solar collectors eventually, maybe then satellites around the Earth, maybe the moon.

Whats next?If our energy demands keep growing we'll want to get the additional energy from somewhere.

It doesn't have to be a solid sphere, it could be satellites with solar collectors in orbit around the sun.

If it WAS solid, the schematic in the OP could be a real problem as anyone who has ever tried to drive on an out of balance wheel, or spin an out of balance load in the washing machine would know. If a solid sphere was built with chunks missing it would balance better to put two missing chunks on opposite sides of the sphere.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 06:45 AM
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If your harnessing this much power and you require a beacon of light surely you could do better than using a boring old star through a slit...

You could beacon at a specific wavelength of light, send complex messages from an array of lasers maybe, heck you could make the star look like a disco ball if your tech is that far advanced.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 06:47 AM
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Originally posted by Son of Will
It's a cool concept but frankly it strikes me as "yesterday's physics". With all we know of harnessing zero-point energy, which is literally what the fabric of space/time is made of, I'd like to think that such massive, bulky devices would be made obselete by such an advanced race.


You have a lot to learn about zero point energy my friend.

The zero means "ZERO" as in a bank account with zero funds. Sure you might get away with making a withdrawal or two in the short term before the bank stops you and charges overdraft fees and demands the balance be returned to zero or more. But you won't make withdrawals from a zero bank account for very long.

Likewise, you won't make withdrawals from zero point energy for very long. Zero point is already the lowest possible energy state that can exist. So if you take energy out of space with the lowest possible energy state, by definition the energy state can't go below the lowest possible energy state, so where did that energy come from?

It's a fantasy you read about or saw on TV like I did, and it's a cool fantasy, but please try to separate science fact from science fiction (though we do have an interesting habit of making science fiction into science fact, but not all of it.)

We do have the ability to put satellites in orbit around the sun, and we do already have microwave transmitters that could beam the energy from the satellite back to Earth. So the only thing making a Dyson Sphere fantasy is time and effort, we pretty much already have the technology to do something like that with satellites.

Talking about using zero point energy as an energy source is a different kind of fantasy, one which has no basis in known science. But if you want to do a trial experiment by making withdrawals from a bank account with zero funds, go ahead and try it, and let us know how it goes. The bank actually likes it when you do that a couple of times so they can charge you big overdraft fees, but eventually they want the balance back at zero or higher. Nature doesn't want vacuum zero point energy going below a "zero balance" any more than a bank does. So to think you can make withdrawals from either for very long, is, well, pick a word that fits.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


I'm getting tired of you saying what I was going to say only better.

It seems you are right about ZPE.......unfortunately.

O.P., don't be disheartened by negative responses, whether this is practical or feasably is only a matter of opinion. It is not outside the realms of possibility and if we were looking for contact, it would probably be more effective than sending out a few radio signals in a narrow band to a limited area with limited range.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 09:36 PM
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Originally posted by OZtracized
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


I'm getting tired of you saying what I was going to say only better.

It seems you are right about ZPE.......unfortunately.

O.P., don't be disheartened by negative responses, whether this is practical or feasably is only a matter of opinion. It is not outside the realms of possibility and if we were looking for contact, it would probably be more effective than sending out a few radio signals in a narrow band to a limited area with limited range.


Thanks. I think I'm right about the Dyson sphere too but I didn't think I was negative about it. To the contrary I think it might be possible to detect a Dyson sphere if one exists within telescope viewing range.

The OP has a common misconception about a Dyson sphere being solid which Dyson himself pointed out is not what he had in mind:

Dyson Sphere


In many fictional accounts, the Dyson sphere concept is most often interpreted as an artificial hollow sphere of matter around a star. This perception is a misinterpretation of Dyson's original concept. In response to letters prompted by his original paper, Dyson replied, "A solid shell or ring surrounding a star is mechanically impossible. The form of 'biosphere' which I envisaged consists of a loose collection or swarm of objects traveling on independent orbits around the star.


So basically it's possible, it's just possible as a swarm of objects like the satellites I mentioned, and not as a solid sphere.

And as the OP suggested, it may very well be detectable, though the likely method of detection would be different from the lighthouse/beacon suggested by the OP. This is again from Dyson himself:

www.islandone.org...

the search for extraterrestrial intelligent beings should not be confined to the neighborhood of visible stars. The most likely habitat for such beings would be a dark object, having a size comparable with the Earth's orbit, and a surface temperature of 200 deg. to 300 deg. K. Such a dark object would be radiating as copiously as the star which is hidden inside it, but the radiation would be in the far infrared, around 10 microns wavelength.


So according to Dyson, the star may not be seen in visible light because of all the solar collectors orbiting the star, but it would be seen in the far infrared wavelengths. If he's right, that's the most likely pattern to search for to detect a Dyson Sphere.

[edit on 3-6-2010 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Sorry, I didn't mean you were negative (except maybe in the eyes of those convinced ZPE is the answer to all our woes)!

I meant some of the other posts which were slightly negative.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by OZtracized
 


Oh yeah, guilty as charged about zero point energy.

But I think the prospect of detecting a Dyson sphere is exciting, though I don't associate a high probability with it, but one definitely well above zero.



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