A Dyson Sphere is a hypothetical megastructure that completely encases a star, thus capturing all its energy. Such a structure might potentially have other functions such as a habitat on its surface or interior. A Dyson sphere positioned one astronomical unit from our sun would have a surface area of 550 million times that of the Earth and would generate approximately 33 trillion times as much power as the world currently consumes in a year.It is well beyond the current technology and resources of human civilization to construct a Dyson sphere. It has been suggested that Dyson spheres could theoretically exist as a need for energy may drive technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations towards this solution.
Dyson swarmThe Dyson sphere has many theoretical variations that are mostly ways to partially surround a star. For example, a Dyson swarm are a network of small units that orbit a sun in various theoretical configurations. Due to the unfathomable size of a Dyson sphere it is often assumed that they would be built out incrementally.
Stellar EnginesA Dyson sphere might potentially use some of its energy to travel through space. Using a star as an energy source for propulsion is a hypothetical technique known as a stellar engine.
|Definition||A hypothetical megastructure that completely encases a star as a means of energy production with potential use as a large scale artificial world. |
|Attributed to||Freeman Dyson |
|Related Concepts||Fermi ParadoxSpacecraft|
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