Lasers in use by telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. If aliens elsewhere in the galaxy use lasers for astronomy or communications, we may be able to detect them from Earth. Credit: University of Hawaii

Searching for Dyson Spheres and Alternate Universes

Source: University of California Berkeley press release

Two new research grants are supporting projects that bleed into science fiction. The first could help identify advanced civilizations powered by massive, orbiting solar power stations. The second study will look for ways of detecting universes other than our own.

Two University of California, Berkeley, scientists have received research grants to explore areas of science that bleed into science fiction.

Astronomer Geoff Marcy, who kicked off the search for extrasolar planets 20 years ago, plans to rummage through data from the Kepler space telescope in search of evidence for civilizations advanced enough to have built massive orbiting “solar” power stations.

Theoretical physicist Raphael Bousso will look for ways of detecting universes other than our own, and try to understand what these alternate universes, or multiverses, will look like.

Marcy and Bousso are among 20 innovative researchers who will share more than $4 million in New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology International Grants that were announced Thursday, Oct. 4, by the University of Chicago. The grants were made possible through funding from the Templeton Foundation in the United Kingdom as a way to encourage scientists and students worldwide to explore fundamental, big questions in astronomy and cosmology that engage groundbreaking ideas on the nature of the Universe.

Read more: Searching for Dyson Spheres and Alternate Universes — Astrobiology Magazine.

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