First warp drives, and now we’re searching for Dyson Spheres. Awesome.

Originally posted on VentureBeat:

Dyson Sphere

If NASA’s recent efforts to build a warp drive engine wasn’t enough to convince you that Star Trek will eventually mirror our own reality, then perhaps the latest research project from Penn State’s Astrophysics department will.

A team of Penn State researchers were recently awarded a sizable grant to search the universe for intelligently created spheres large enough to fit a planetary system inside — and to do so without ever setting foot on a galaxy-class Federation spaceship like the Enterprise-D.

The enormous objects are officially called Dyson Spheres, named after a 1960 theory by physicist Freeman Dyson about looking for extraterrestrial life. And as the theory goes, a Dyson Sphere is a dark object roughly the size of Earth’s orbit that is constructed around the entirety of a star. The object would also harness the star’s energy for the purpose of sustaining lifeforms inside the sphere almost indefinitely.

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