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Dyson Sphere Anomaly

A group of University of California and Berkeley scientists were recent recipients of a combined $4 million grant from the New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology International Grant by the University of Chicago. Their project goal is to study a theoretical phenomenon in space, known as a Dyson Sphere.

Named after the theory’s founder, Freeman Dyson, a Dyson Sphere is a hypothetical structure centimeters to kilometers in thickness created near a star. These spheres would generate massive amounts of renewable energy inside their “atmosphere”, theoretically creating a perfect system in which to harness energy from the sun.

There are multiple assumptions surrounding the composition and functionality of a Dyson Sphere, but it is widely believed that such an anomaly would need to be artificially created. This suggests that if discovered, a Dyson Sphere could potentially prove the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Freeman came up with his theory in 1959, after reading a similar concept in a fictional novel. He proposed that a structure roughly the size of Earth’s orbit could be designed in various fashions around a star to utilize its massive energy output. These spheres range from ringworlds, or large hypothetical rotating rings complete with their own ecosystem held in by gravity, to SupraJupiters, or large structures around a Jupiter-sized planet to transform the surface into a liveable environment.

Another version is the Bubbleworld concept, which would be roughly 3 times the size of Jupiter, and contain 5 million times the liveable volume of the Earth. The theory suggests that 500m of iron-nickel could hold in an atmosphere and balance the gas pressure. This structure would also generate a 0.0001 to 0.01 gee environment, meaning that many physically impossible feats on Earth, such as human powered flight, would be a reality inside this Bubbleworld.

This is the first time that such a large amount of funding and research has gone into the investigation of Dyson Sphere’s in our universe. While Dyson himself was skeptical about the theory, modern scientists are hopeful and optimistic that the likelihood of discovering a Sphere in the near future is very plausible.

To learn more about the research and history behind Dyson Spheres, check out the links below.


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