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Dyson Sphere Discovery Prompts Questions of Alien Life

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In 1960, Freeman Dyson, a British-American mathematician and theoretical physicist, proposed a theory about how technologically advanced civilizations could generate the energy necessary for survival. The survival of such civilizations would lie within their ability to succeed in this endeavor. Dyson believed they would achieve this feat by creating a system of structures around their closest star. These structures (Dyson spheres, as theorists would later call them) could intercept and collect the energy, converting it into long-wave infrared radiation.

"One should expect that, within a few thousand years of industrial development, any intelligent species should occupy an artificial biosphere that surrounds its parent star," explained Dyson in his scientific paper published in 1960 outlining his theory. While he admitted the roots of his concept lie heavily in science fiction, recent celestial discoveries indicate that his theory could have some scientific basis.

Recent Discoveries Leave Scientists Searching for Answers

A study published in May found that Dyson spheres might exist less than 1,000 light years from Earth. Gathering scientific data from specialized telescopes, a team of researchers set out to find examples of infrared signatures that could not be explained. Although they started with a sample size of 5 million stars, they applied several filters to eliminate as much data contamination as possible.

At the end of their research, they discovered seven sources of long-wave infrared radiation with no possible explanation. While these findings are not conclusive evidence of the existence of Dyson stars, it is difficult to find a scientific explanation for these sources. "We do not have enough data to determine the real cause of the infrared glow," explained lead study author Matias Suazo. Suazo is a doctoral student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University in Sweden. He states that, while they could be Dyson spheres because they behave as their models predicted, there may be a simpler explanation.


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