What is a Dyson Sphere?
Hello there, I don't know exactly where I heard the term, "Dyson Sphere" but I would like to know more about it. All that I know is that it has something to do with living inside a hollow planet with a star in the middle. I would appreciate any info on the subject. Thanks!
A Dyson Sphere is a hypothetical artificial space platform which very advanced alien civilizations might construct in order to harness all of the light of their parent star. The sphere surrounds the star completely, forming a shell around it of about the radius of the Earth's orbit. Aliens live on the inside surface of this sphere, which captures all the light from the star since it surrounds it completely. That light is used for the power needs of the civilization.
Dyson Spheres are important, because they should be directly detectable from Earth as something completely different from a star, and are one of the few ways of directly indicating the existance of alien life. On the other hand, most astronomers believe that even the most advanced civilizations would find them too expensive to build.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.
This page has been accessed 23981 times since September 16, 2002.
Last modified: September 16, 2002 10:15:05 AM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)