Monday, December 2, 2013- No evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations in infrared astronomy survey

4Dec

A serious scientific constraint on extraterrestrial civilizations.  Regular cohost DJ Gigayear (aka gully) reports on current research showing no evidence for extraterrestrial civilizations.  Over 1 million galaxies were surveyed with the Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), an infrared space telescope.  None of these galaxies show infrared radiation levels consistent with more than 15% of their stars being surrounded by solar panels- so called "Dyson Spheres".  The cohosts discuss the meaning of this result, and why we might expect to see Dyson spheres in the first place.  The story was inspired by ongoing research supported by the Templeton Foundation, and performed by Professor Jason Wright and collaborators at Penn State University's Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds.

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