First proposed by physicist Freeman Dyson in 1960, a Dyson sphere is a hypothetical swarm of satellites that would surround a star in order to harness its energy. Although more commonly known as a Dyson swarm, some people have discussed the possibility that rather than a swarm of satellites, a star could be encased in a solid sphere by a future civilisation – but this is an idea that Dyson himself was keen to stray away from. Indeed, for a planetary system like our own, such a structure would likely require every object in the Solar System other than the Sun to be dismantled and rebuilt into a giant sphere owing to the huge size of the Sun.
Dyson’s initial proposal was suggested as a way that a future civilisation could sate their vast energy needs. As the energy requirements of a civilisation increase, they may require an ever-growing amount of energy, a crisis perhaps solved only by harnessing the power of stars.
This carries further connotations that there could be advanced races elsewhere in the universe that have built such structures. Dyson postulated that these would radiate a large amount of infrared radiation, noticeable even to us here on Earth.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
FORGOTTEN PLANS TO REACH THE MOON
Before Apollo, many ingenious lunar landing schemes were proposed that could have changed history
RISE OF VERA RUBIN'S SUPER OBSERVATORY
Astronomy’s new era will be defined by a wider and deeper view of the universe
JEREMIAS PFAFF: THE BOUNDARIES OF QUANTUM PHYSICS
Jeremias Pfaff speaks to All About Space about what it takes to measure gravity on such a minute scale. The next step? To go even smaller
HUNT FOR THE UNIVERSE'S MISSING STARS
An international team of astronomers is on the hunt for objects that should be impossible
FOUND! SAFEST PLACE TO LIVE IN THE MILKY WAY
Astronomers have searched our galaxy to identify the safest places to live. As it turns out, we’re in a pretty good spot
HOW TO SPOT A FAKE SPACE PHOTO
Reveal if that sensational image is real or a fraud with All About Space’s top tips
CELESTRON CPC 800 GPS (XLT)
With its StarBright XLT technology, this catadioptric instrument is worth every penny: an excellent investment for serious sky-watchers
Deep sky challenge: A Gaggle of glittering globular clusters
Messier 13 isn’t the only stellar gathering to see in the early summer sky
10 Amazing Volcanoes In The Solar System
Explore these violent openings into the inner workings and origins of the planets and their moons
Is Our Sun Going Into Hibernation?
Each sunspot cycle has been getting less intense. Is our star falling asleep?
Fighting Fire With Founders
Silicon Valley startups are taking aim at deadly wildfires. But saving lives will require cutting through red tape, fast.
COVID's Silver Lining: A Calmer Life
This family left the West Coast for a simpler lifestyle in a small Cape Cod town.
Clay Spenser – Vineyard Haven
How a return to California Wine Country —and a reunion with childhood best friends— brought the SEAL Team actor to his Senses
CALIFORNIA PLACES TESLA'S ‘FULL SELF-DRIVING' UNDER REVIEW
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is reviewing whether Tesla is violating a state regulation by advertising its vehicles as being fully autonomous without meeting the legal definition of self-driving.
I Cry for the Mountains
After a wildfire swept through the land where his family raised their cattle for more than a century, a rancher takes a tour of what’s left—and what might come next
California Republicans’ hopes are riding on the “superhero pirate” leading a mutiny against the governor.
It Has Defied All Predictions of Its Obsolescence
If You Believe the Headlines, the Office Has Been Dying for Half a Century
6 Creative Ways Workers Are Taking Back Power
When workers align with local constituents to fight for shared goals, it strengthens their campaign.
The Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture is a largely unknown oasis on the edge of the city.
A Healthy Berry Very Easily Turns Decadent