A super-nerdy but awesome explanation of the Kardashev scale, which is ‘used to classify hypothetical alien civilizations according to the amount of energy at their disposal’.
‘This led him to speculate about a Type II civilization. For an [extraterrestrial intelligence] to reach K2, it would need to capture the entire energy output of its parent star. The best way to achieve this, of course, is to build a Dyson Sphere.
Conjured by Freeman Dyson in 1959, this hypothetical megastructure would envelope a star at a distance of 1 AU and cover an inconceivably large area of 2.72 x 1017 km2, which is around 600 million times the surface area of the Earth. The sun has an energy output of around 4 x 1026 Watts, of which most would be available to do useful work.’
As anyone who’s read Ascension Point knows, I’ve always been more of a Dyson Swarm kind of guy, but each to their own.
Next up, are you ready for season three of Game of Thrones? I know I am.
We should stop using nuclear weapons as a unit of measurement, says annoyed atomic historian.
“In general,” he added, “What I don’t like is … the idea that kiloton or a megaton is just an energy unit, that it’s equivalent to so many joules or something. Because you could do that. You could claim that your house runs so many tons of TNT worth of electricity per year, but it sort of trivializes the notion.”
Also at The Atlantic, a spectacular NASA video of three simultaneous solar phenomena.
‘…a solar flare, a coronal mass ejection (CME), and coronal rain, “complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun’s atmosphere,” NASA explains.’
Finally, in Dan-specific news, Venus Rising goes to my editor on March 8th, which means it should be out in just a couple of months!