An artistic interpretation of a Dyson sphere, made of satellites, which can collect energy from a star.
(Vedexent/<a href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dyson_Swarm.png”>Wikimedia Commons</a>/<a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/”>CC-BY-2.5</a>)
A scientist thinks that future intelligent alien beings cannot survive by collecting, storing and harnessing the power of the stars.
Then Hooper, senior scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, that this concept in a new paper. He suggested that the next 100 billion years or so, an intelligent alien civilization will probably be isolated and in need of the power of the universe continue to expand. In the paper, Hooper explained that these aliens would have to use the stars as an alternative source of energy.
Hooper suggested that such a civilization would catch stars pick up their food with the help of Dyson spheres — theoretical structures, originally described by sci-fi writer Olaf Stapledon in his novel “Star Maker”, and for the first time officially proposed and popularized by the physicist Freeman Dyson in his 1960 paper “Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation.” Dyson spheres are designed structures made of satellites that are essentially solar panels. They would, in theory, be built around a star, and the capture of the energy. [Dyson Spheres: How Advanced Alien Civilizations Would Conquer the Galaxy (Infographic)]
In his paper, Hooper expanded on this idea, saying that an advanced civilization would be able to “make use of the energy that is collected for the movement of the stars to the center of civilization, where they will be gravitationally bound and thus protected against the future expansion of space.”
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In a conversation with Space.com, Hooper revealed that he investigated this wild, alien ability simply because he “thought it was cold and it would be fun.”
Although he thought that the concept is interesting, newspapers, as this could serve a secondary goal, Hooper said, Because his paper covers such a wild concept, it could be more people “excited about science, especially the youth,” and “the more people in our society are becoming more literate in the areas of science, I think that this does much good,” he added.
Still, people might dismiss the idea that an intelligent alien civilization would be able to “catch” from the stars to meet their energy needs. But according to Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, who was not involved in Hooper’s paper, these people are “not thinking big enough.”
Because of the dark energy, the universe is expanding, and this process continues to speed up, the paper noted. And “there is no limit on how fast space can expand,” said Shostak Space.com.
At least, as the man, “almost all energy on Earth is a result of the sun … with the exception of nuclear energy,” Shostak added.
So, if space expands and stars grow further and further away from civilizations, which communities would probably have to find a way to capture and store stellar energy, regardless of whether or not these aliens are the squishy, gray variety that we see in movies, or less-human-like machines, Shostak said.
If intelligent aliens are anything like us, “they are going to run out of energy,” Shostak said, adding, “I don’t think there is anything crazy.”
Hooper noted in his paper that something like this would probably not happen for about 100 billion years. Within that time, because of the dark energy, the space to expand enough for the isolation of a civilization, such a civilization would also have to figure out how to build a Dyson sphere, Hooper said.
The new paper does not say with any certainty that the theoretical aliens can or will capture stars and use their power. However, the idea remains theoretically possible if you factor in two key assumptions (not including the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life): “1) a very advanced civilization will try to maximize the access to usable energy, and that 2) our current understanding of dark energy and its impact on the future expansion of the history of our universe is approximately correct,” Hooper wrote in the newspaper.
The paper is uploaded to the arXiv preprint server.
Original article on Space.com.