Could a Dyson Sphere Harness the Full Power of the Sun?

The Sun produces more energy than we can can comprehend.

Its core reaches a predicted temperature of 15 million degrees Celsius or roughly the

same temperature as an exploding hydrogen bomb.

This is the scorching section of the Sun where nuclear fusion occurs.

The process releases massive amounts of energy which eventually makes its way into space.

But just a fraction of that energy reaches Earth.

If we were to harness the total energy of the Sun, humanity would jump to Type II on

the Kardashev Scale, which is a method of measuring a civilizations level of technological advancement.

Right now, humanity isn’t even on the scale.

So, we need to harvest far more of the Sun’s energy if we want any shot at universal dominance

or even just long term survival.

This idea stems back to the mid 1900s.

In a thought experiment, Physicist Freeman Dyson (no connection to the vacuum) popularized

the concept of a structure that could trap 100 percent of a star’s energy.

Dyson claimed that advanced civilizations or extraterrestrials might use massive structures

to capture the power of their host star.

He said that looking for signs of these structures would lead us to other lifeforms.

This concept inspired what later became known as a Dyson Sphere - a hypothetical megastructure

that would surround the Sun, soaking up its light and converting it into useful energy.

Today, there are a few different Dyson inspired designs.

The classic Dyson Shell, for instance, is often portrayed in sci-fi works.

The solid structure, the size of a planetary orbit, contains solar habitats, each powered

by their host star’s light.

But this megastructure would be impossible for humanity to pull off due to the fact that

the materials needed to build it don’t exist.

On top of that, environmental and gravitational stresses of the Sun would destroy the shell.

Instead, some astro engineers believe a Dyson Swarm is the most practical design for our solar system.

This concept would require the construction of an army of advanced solar panels which

would orbit the Sun, capturing its light from all directions.

The solar panels would collect the Sun’s radiation and continuously transmit the energy

wirelessly back to Earth.

Still, futurists say building a Dyson Swarm would require extreme measures like mining

Mercury for materials - eventually destroying the planet.

But if we manage to successfully create a sun sucking megastructure, it will extend

humanity’s survival in the solar system and provide the power needed to colonize other planets.

Considering all the advanced technology needed to make this happen though, it will be a very

long time until any sort of Dyson Sphere takes the leap from science fiction to reality.

But, like Freeman Dyson, some people believe that aliens might already be using Dyson Sphere-like structures.

And they point to a mysterious dimming star - known as Tabby's star - as potential evidence.

Believers say that the dimming is a sign of a structure surrounding the star.

While many astronomers say that the dimming is likely just caused by dust.

But in the far-fetched chance that there is an advanced civilization out there soaking

up all the energy in the universe,

let’s just hope that they’ll use their power for good, not evil.

Space Crafts takes you through the depths of the cosmos, explaining bizarre astronomical

phenomena and crazy plans for future exploration.

In this episode, we explore how sci-fi inspired spacecraft could clean up our space junk.

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