3. A continuation of the energy discussion/debate with Weird Science which was started in Carnival of Space 150
Other Carnival of Space 151 Highlights
Centauri Dreams discusses using telescopes to look for the visual signature of Dyson Spheres and other possible signatures of advanced civilizations
Dyson spheres would be tough to locate, although it’s interesting to note that the Allen Telescope Array will investigate thirteen of what Carrigan calls the ‘least implausible Dyson sphere candidates’ once it becomes fully operational. Carrigan built up a list of such candidates by going through data from the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS), which spotted hundreds of thousands of infrared sources. A Dyson sphere should radiate in the infrared, but would have to be distinguished from natural sources like stars with thick dust shells, whose own infrared signal might closely mimic that of an artificial construct.
Another signature of advanced technology would be an attempt to slow this process down (aging of a star). If the star’s outer layers could be mixed into the core, that would slow the process of inflation down. Such a star would look odd, though. It would be bluer than it should be and would be of a type known to astronomers as a “blue straggler”. Although, again, there are perfectly natural reasons these might form.