The Dyson Sphere – Not Just Science Fiction


A few years ago I wrote on The Huffington Post about author Raoul Peter Mongilardi’s Next To The Gods, a complex, world-building four book series of science fiction. In it, the Aurocerians, an alien race of beings have created a Dyson Sphere, an impenetrable constructed barrier encompassing an entire solar system serving a dual purpose of protection while harnessing the power of a star. The recent news of Kepler Space Telescope’s discovery of KIC 8462852, an oddly dimming star 1,500 light years from Earth, which has been speculated to harbor a potential Dyson Sphere-like alien megastructure made me reflect on Mongilardi’s series, and other works of science fiction that have, over time, become more in the realm of science than fiction.

An illustration of the Dyson Sphere in Next To The Gods (Courtesy of OMRPM Productions)

The concept of a Dyson Sphere is not a new one. It was first described by futurist writer Olaf Stapledon in his 1937 science fiction novel, Star Maker. In 1960, Freeman Dyson, a physicist and mathematician (and namesake) was the first to formalize the concept with his science research paper, Search For Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation. Dyson wrote that the very survival of a highly technological civilization would need these spheres for their escalating energy needs. Dyson proposed that the Sphere might not necessarily be an impenetrable shell (as is the case in Mongilardi’s books) but could be a system of strategically placed space solar panels that would orbit the star and harvest its energy.

A Dyson Ring of solar power collectors orbiting a star at about 100 million miles (Image via Wikipedia)

We do not know if KIC 8462852 is surrounded by vast megastructures. This fast-spreading story began with Tabetha Boyajian’s (a postdoc at Yale) and her colleagues’ paper published —> Read More