How to Detect Super-Civilizations Born in Foreign Galaxies

There may be evidence of super-advanced civilizations in other galaxies who have learned to control the entire energy output of their parent star. And we could start looking for them. 

What's the Latest Development?


Our current search for extraterrestrial life focuses on combing the skies for radio signals emitted by a foreign civilization within our Milky Way galaxy, but caught as we are in a tight thicket of stars, sifting out those signals is like looking for a needle in a haystack. So perhaps we should turn our gaze to other galaxies and search for evidence of super-civilizations, detectable by such an advanced technological achievement that they came to control the entire energy output of their parent star. Such a technology was theorized in the 1960s by physicist Freeman Dyson, which would be constructed by dismantling a planet with the mass of Jupiter.

What's the Big Idea?

The mass of the deconstructed planet, according to Dyson's design, would be used to build a shell around the star to capture all its energy output. "These [shells] would be detected as anomalous dark voids in a galaxy's disk. When these voids were observed in infrared light they would glow brightly with the heat radiation from the surfaces of Dyson spheres. This would show that they are not that simply voids where solar-type stars are conspicuously missing." Given that the Universe has allowed super-civilizations to develop for 12 billion years, were we not to find evidence of such technology, we could reasonably put an upper limit on what can be achieved by life. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Extreme opponents of GM foods know the least science, but think they know the most

New research on the public's opinion about genetically modified foods illustrates an alarming cognitive bias.

(Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Mind & Brain
  • A recent study compared the public's scientific literacy with their attitudes on GM foods.
  • The results showed that "as the extremity of opposition increased, objective knowledge went down, but self-assessed knowledge went up."
  • The results also suggest that, in terms of policy efforts to boost scientific literacy, education about a given topic alone isn't going to be enough.
Keep reading Show less