Posts Tagged: ‘megastructures’

In 2012, Alex Garland and Pete Travis reintroduced moviegoers to Mega-City One, the sprawling city state from 2000 AD‘s long-running “Judge Dredd” comic book series. Prior to that, we only had the 1995 Stallone adaptation to go on — which, for all its flaws, at least delivered on the sets and FX. But just as the comic’s setting was a sci-fi product of late 1970s, Stallone’s Mega-City One was a post-”Blade Runner” vision of city living.

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How might an alien civilization capture the energy of an entire star? Why with a Dyson sphere, of course! When it’s not showing up in an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” or imprisoning Necron Star Gods, Dyson spheres are the brainchild of the brilliant physicist Freeman Dyson.

In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I discuss just what Dyson spheres are and why they’re much more than mere awesome fictions.

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The sun is the powerhouse for our solar system, heating the spheres with its radiation and holding everything from gas giants to asteroids in thrall to its massive gravity. Stars, in their various forms, are the most powerful forces in the known universe, so it only comes naturally that a species of egotistical apes would dream about capturing one and bending it to their will.

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