Friday, December 2, 2016

The Absolute, Definitive Truth About Alien Megastructures

The title of this post is a joke, or taken literally, an outright lie. The only definitive truth is that no one knows if anyone has ever built a megastructure, or even if they would if they could. I have persistent doubts if such things exist anywhere in the universe, but I can't yet tell you if such doubts are reasonable.

Update 8 December 2016: I left out one type of motivation for building a megastructure - planetary climate control. Although these "Dyson Dots" would be relatively small, they might be detectable for transiting planets. I need to run the numbers...

The Usual Disclaimer

So, we're going to be speculative here yet again, and very probably wrong. I won't be able to cite many facts, so if that is the sort of thing you like to read, perhaps now would be a good time to hit the back button.

But I'm Completely Serious

We are interested in the conjectured alien megastructures because we might have a chance to observe them with technology we have or could well have in the near future. These structures would be bigger than planets (my definition), and since we can observe planets about other stars, we might well be able to observe these things, and so looking for them is a kind of SETI. I've written before about why I think SETI is worthwhile.