One one-billionth of the Sun’s total energy output actually reaches Earth. Of all the energy that does reach Earth, 34 percent is reflected back to space by clouds. The Earth itself reflects another 66 percent back to space. Wouldn’t it be great if we could harness even one percent of the Sun’s energy? That thought brings us to today’s topic, the idea of a Dyson Sphere. Not to be confused with Dyson vacuums, the definition of a Dyson Sphere is: a hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star and captures a large percentage of its power output. There are similar variations to this such as a Dyson Ring, Dyson Swarm, Dyson Bubble, and Dyson Shell. All these things would perform the same goal.
The original concept of the thought experiment was attributed to physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson, though like most things, there was someone who thought of it first. It was surely unintentional but back 2 400 years ago, Plato the philosopher wrote about enormous subterranean tunnels both broad and narrow that made up the Earth’s interior. Later in the 17th century, the term Hollow Earth became a now debunked theory, claiming that there is indeed an inverted world inside our world, with it’s own light source! Such a thought experiment is not unlike a creative version of a Dyson Sphere. Its purpose ultimately being a power source which as we all know in a broad sense, our sun is. It gives us life! In vegetation and in vitamin D.
So the myth of Agartha, which is what some groups called the Hollow Earth, was really the first idea of a Dyson Sphere. But Freeman’s description of such a thing was humanity’s first good description of a truly conceivable version of it. To harness the sun in the palm of a species’ hands. It seems like pure theory now, that a race could build something so massive to wrap around the sun, a body in of itself that could fit over one million Earths in it, that it’ll never be possible. But ALREADY we have found anomalies through NASA’s Discovery Program of potential Dyson Spheres out in space made by advanced intelligent alien life.
Granted, reality is often disappointing and the anomaly these scientists are finding are most likely large planets obscuring the stars’ light, it’s still fun to think of the possibility. We often imagine aliens being almost just like us: bipedal, carbon-based lifeforms using air from their throats to communicate. If that is the case, it would take a civilization of China-levels of cooperation to construct such a device! But in a more creative sense, if alien life out there were something like silicon-based, or A.I. managed, construction of larger-than-star-sized devices could be a thing. Regardless, I just wanted to talk about this subject because things like this inspire my imagination, and if it could do the same to you, then the world would be a little brighter.
I love you all, and thanks for reading.