A Brief Primer on What It Would Take to Build a Dyson Sphere
The prospect of building a
Dyson Sphere—a giant, ball of solar panels that surrounds the entire sun and
sucks up all of its energy—has been an obsession of science fiction writers and
real-life science fans ever since Freeman Dyson popularized it back in 1960.
Obviously it's not feasible now, but would it be feasible ever?
We've covered the basics
before, but PBS's Space Time just dropped a fantastic and in-depth video that
covers the broad strokes nicely. In short, making a literal, solid shell around
the sun is pretty much out of the question. We don't have the engineering
capabilities or the materials, and can't even really fathom having them. But to
accomplish the same basic concept, you could blow up Mercury and build
autonomous bots to use its corpse to build a massive swarm of one-kilometer
mirrors that orbit the sun in hundreds of criss-cross patterns.
The speculation only gets
crazier from there, including using the energy from the aforementioned
"Dyson Swarm" to create some black hole's out around Jupiter and
harvest their energy by feeding them whatever matter we don't particularly
All of this is centuries off in
the future, if it ever happens at all, but you can spot the very beginnings of
it in the world today: the self-navigating vehicles, robots brains that can
learn, the nascent asteroid mining industry.
Hurry up guys, I wanna see.
This post was written by Usman Abrar. To contact the
writer write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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