SETI Through Disappearing Stars | Summary and Q&A

July 19, 2017
John Michael Godier
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SETI Through Disappearing Stars


Researchers are exploring alternative methods of detecting alien civilizations, such as searching for stars that disappear due to the construction of Dyson Spheres. However, there is limited evidence for their existence, suggesting that either Dyson Spheres are rare or advanced civilizations utilize different technological approaches.

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Key Insights

  • 🤩 Alternative methods of detecting advanced civilizations, such as searching for disappearing stars or galaxies, are being explored as radio SETI has not yet yielded any conclusive evidence.
  • 🤩 Dyson Spheres, if they exist, would cause stars to dim or become completely blocked, and their construction might be indicated by infrared emissions.
  • 😒 The lack of conclusive evidence for Dyson Spheres may suggest their rarity or the use of alternative technologies by advanced civilizations.
  • ❓ Advanced civilizations might utilize miniaturized technology and become extremely efficient, challenging traditional assumptions about their energy consumption.


Lately, there have been a number of alternative methods of doing SETI coming out from researchers seeking to broaden our ability to detect alien civilizations after decades of radio SETI that has, so far, been fruitless. One such method is to look for stars that simply blink out with no natural explanation. But, as anyone familiar with the concept ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the purpose of searching for stars that disappear?

The idea is that the construction of Dyson Spheres by advanced civilizations could cause stars to dim or blink out. Detecting such phenomena could indicate the presence of extraterrestrial technology.

Q: What are the challenges in identifying stars that have disappeared?

The ambiguity arises from other astrophysical phenomena, such as quasars, which can also cause dramatic drops in brightness. Differentiating between natural and technological causes requires extensive analysis and comparisons with other surveys.

Q: Why haven't researchers found strong evidence of Dyson shells or disappearing galaxies?

It is possible that the samples and timeframes studied so far have been too limited. Alternatively, it may suggest that Dyson Spheres are uncommon or that advanced civilizations have different technological approaches.

Q: Could advanced civilizations utilize alternative technological methods instead of Dyson Spheres?

Yes, it is possible that intelligent alien civilizations may have different ways of harnessing energy and expanding. They might not rely on massive energy consumption or the construction of large-scale structures like Dyson Spheres.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Researchers are investigating the possibility of detecting alien civilizations by searching for stars that disappear, potentially indicating the construction of Dyson Spheres.

  • One study found a candidate object that seemed to have disappeared, but it was ambiguous and inconsistent with a Dyson shell. Further research is needed.

  • Another study searched for galaxies that might vanish due to advanced civilizations, but no conclusive evidence was found. Additional investigation is warranted.

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