A Plan for SETI
Article by Earthman
The concept of planetary arrays, the artificial packing of orbits with multiple large bodies within the habitable zone of a single star to maximize the available living space of a star system, first emerged in my thoughts while I was working on an article for Extraterrestrial Revolutions #1, an astronomy zine of mine, regarding the possible arrangements of moons and moonlets, moons of moons.It struck me that completing a hexagonal array in a single orbit with alternating larger and smaller bodies of an appropriate mass ratio would create three interleaved trojan arrays in the space of two. Further, I realized, if each of the six equidistant positions, each the same distance from its next in orbit as from the central star, contained two co-orbiting major bodies, akin to Earth and Moon or Pluto and Charon, then twelve major habitable worlds could be arrayed in a single orbit. The distance between partner worlds in the same hexagonal vertex is negligible compared to the distance between vertices.
I have been familiar with the concept of a Dyson sphere for a long time, however, the common solid shell model (see TNG’s “Relics”) initially seemed wonderful, but then I realized it would be terribly wasteful. The amount of material it would take to build a structure designed this way to utilize the entire energy output of a single star would require the available mass of an absurd amount of star systems. An alien culture technologically advanced enough to attempt such a feat would need to sacrifice a significant portion of local space to centralize it all this way. This leads me to think that the amount of energy it would take to construct such a thing would be prohibitive, beyond the waste of thousands upon thousands of worlds closer to habitability as is than after being processed for construction, before construction.
Read the full article here: http://trekfederation.com/9748-2/