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Dyson Spheres and the Hunt for Alien Intelligence: Dust Obscured Galaxies as Likely Explanation

In the quest for extraterrestrial intelligence, the concept of Dyson Spheres has intrigued scientists and astronomers alike. Recently, seven stars have been identified as potential candidates for hosting Dyson Spheres, primarily because they emit most of their radiation in the infrared spectrum. However, a recent study suggests a more mundane explanation: dust obscured galaxies.

 Dyson Sphere Concept

Freeman Dyson proposed the idea of Dyson Spheres in 1960. He theorized that an advanced civilization would construct vast structures or a swarm of spacecraft around their star to capture its energy. This megastructure would likely emit a detectable excess of infrared radiation due to the heat it absorbs from the star and re-radiates into space.

Project Hephaistos and the Search for Infrared Excess

Project Hephaistos aimed to identify such infrared excesses, scrutinizing a sample of 5 million stars from data collected by the Gaia satellite, which maps stars in the Milky Way. Researchers used additional data from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to pinpoint seven M-type stars exhibiting significant infrared radiation.

The new paper by Tongtian Ren and colleagues explores the nature of these candidate stars. The researchers cross-referenced data from the Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS) and other radio surveys, searching for radio sources near the Gaia positions of the candidates. They found radio sources for three candidates—named A, B, and G—within a few arc seconds of the Gaia positions. This proximity suggests the infrared excess might be due to extragalactic phenomena, specifically dust obscured galaxies.

Detailed Findings:

•Candidate A and B: Likely distant galaxies obscured by dust, which contaminates the infrared spectra.

•Candidate G: Shows a radio loud active galactic nucleus with superluminal jets, indicating a distant quasar obscured by hot dust clouds.

For the remaining four candidates, no matching radio sources have been found yet. This does not rule out the dust obscured galaxy hypothesis, but higher resolution radio surveys may be required to confirm this.

Implications for the Search for Alien Megastructures

While the discovery of Dyson Spheres would be a monumental step in confirming extraterrestrial intelligence, current evidence does not support this hypothesis for the seven identified stars. Instead, the infrared excess observed is more plausibly attributed to dust obscured galaxies. Nevertheless, the search continues, and future surveys with higher resolution might provide more definitive answers.

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