In 1960, physicist/astronomer Freeman J. Dyson had an idea – perhaps we were going about looking for extraterrestrial life the wrong way. His paper, published in Journal Science – Search For Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation, proposed searching for cosmic signatures of solar energy collection. Instead of waiting for faint “pings” generated by radio signals, why not search for solar system sized energy collection structures.
Dyson asked us to ponder the obvious – very little solar energy actually strikes our planet, what if we could collect that energy as a power source? Why not look for evidence of advanced cosmic civilizations based on probabilities they knew how to trap and use solar power?
A Dyson Sphere – as described on the website http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2012/03/how-to-build-dyson-sphere-in-five.html
“It would consist of a shell of solar collectors (or habitats) around the star. With this model, all (or at least a significant amount) of the energy would hit a receiving surface where it can be used. [Dyson] speculated that such structures would be the logical consequence of the long-term survival and escalating energy needs of a technological civilization.”
This next link explains Dyson’s theory in ways I couldn’t hope to make better sense of..
Dyson would be pleased to learn science has finally taken notice. Plucked from the pages of science fiction, serious science is exploring his theory as fact.