In my last blog I talked about the three (up to five) types of civilization as labelled by the Kardashev Scale. I also said that type II civilizations can harness the full power of their star, with something called a Dyson Sphere.
The Dyson Sphere is a theorized invention by Olaf Stapledon. The basic goal of the project is to someday completely harness the Sun’s energy output. This includes every single Joule of especially heat and light energy the fusion within the Sun’s core creates. Naturally, this concept would require a lot of hard work to complete. There are a few different versions of his idea though, so I’ll mention each one and explain.
One idea is the Dyson Swarm. So, one plan is to make an enormous amount of solar powered satellites which would encircle the Sun in a large ring, like a circumference. They would circle the Sun, collecting energy and even slightly altering the light that reaches Earth. The energy collected by the satellites would then be wirelessly sent back to Earth for use.
Another idea is the Dyson Bubble. This idea basically consists of several Dyson Swarm circumferences that sit in place around the Sun instead of orbiting. They would prevent the Sun from sucking them into its core with the outward pushing radiation pressure, or the force of small particles hitting the satellites.
The final concept is an actual sphere all around the Sun, totally taking in all its energy. However, this idea has several theoretical problems, and Dyson himself denounced it as unfeasible.
Maybe someday we’ll finally harness all that fusion energy, but most likely not for many centuries. Until then, I guess we’ll just have to rely on renewable energy and eventually our own fusion reactions.