SETI & Technosignatures

Dyson Spheres

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
June 30, 2020
Filed under
Dyson Spheres
Entering A Dyson Sphere
Star Trek

I review the origins and development of the idea of Dyson spheres, their purpose, their engineering, and their detectability. I explicate the ways in which the popular imagining of them as monolithic objects would make them dynamically unstable under gravity and radiation pressure, and mechanically unstable to buckling.

I develop a model for the radiative coupling between a star and large amounts of material orbiting it, and connect the observational features of a star plus Dyson sphere system to the gross radiative properties of the sphere itself. I discuss the still-unexplored problem of the effects of radiative feedback on the central star’s structure and luminosity. Finally, I discuss the optimal sizes of Dyson spheres under various assumptions about their purpose as sources of low-entropy emission, dissipative work, or computation.

Jason T. Wright

Comments: Invited review. 21pp, 1 figure
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Journal reference: Serbian Astronomical Journal 200 (2020) 1-18
DOI: 10.2298/SAJ2000001W
Cite as: arXiv:2006.16734 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2006.16734v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Jason Wright
[v1] Tue, 30 Jun 2020 12:45:18 UTC (157 KB)
Astrobiology, SETI

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻