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Astronomers may have found giant alien 'megastructures' orbiting star near the Milky
(01-20-2017, 01:57 PM)Bear Wrote: They've got a model that seems to indicate starlifting underway.

I've seen an article on that. IIRC the model would seem to indicate an equatorial extraction process - although a bit different from the versions of that I've seen mentioned before. Which may be neither here nor there.

(01-20-2017, 01:57 PM)Bear Wrote: Holy shit. But there's no evident radio chatter.

Couple thoughts on this:

a) We increasingly encrypt even civilian comms for various reasons - and I've heard it said that a really efficiently encrypted signal would be indistinguishable from noise.

b) If this was something artificial and it was using optical comms or other tight beams, then it might be very very hard to detect.

(01-20-2017, 01:57 PM)Bear Wrote: From a Fermi-Paradox view, if they're advanced enough to be starlifting at Tabby's star, wouldn't we see evidence of construction at other stars in the neighborhood? I'm imagining that you don't get as far as starlifting until you've been spacefaring for a while and probably already built a dyson swarm in the home system.

Starlifting and dysons are generally considered to be approximately equal levels of engineering - Type II civ stuff basically. So it could be an either/or kind of thing.

That said, one of the things that usually gets left out of these kind of discussions (megascale engineering of this type) is the issue of time.

Specifically, even if you can create dyson or do starlifting 'easily' - how long does it actually take and how often do you actually have to do it? RL starlifting strategies speak in terms of a 300 million year process. OA assumes that improvements in the state-of-the-art cut that down to 1-3 thousand years. But with the full mass of a star to play with - do you do this to stars like we dig ditches - or only do it every few million years (or longer) and then live off the results in the interim. If we are looking at the timescales originally proposed for starlifting, it could be a matter of a process starting in the home system and operating for hundreds of millions of years followed by trillions of years of living cozy.

It may also be that only a few civs ever have a need or want to engage in engineering on this scale - possibly to support a population, possibly for some specific project.

Another thing that rarely gets discussed in SETI discussions is birth control - a civ might be very long lived, and advanced and spread across their solar system - and have a very stable population that makes it unnecessary to do much more than that for very long periods of time. So things like starlifing or dysons might be even more rare.

Just some thoughts,


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RE: Astronomers may have found giant alien 'megastructures' orbiting star near the Milky - by Drashner1 - 01-20-2017, 02:14 PM

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