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Freeman Dyson: Let’s look for life in the outer solar system

 

Dyson Sphere

Artist depiction of a Dyson Sphere. Credit: Phoenix-06.

Physicist Freeman Dyson suggests that we start looking for life on the moons of Jupiter and out past Neptune, in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. He talks about what such life would be like — and how we might find it.

From inventing Dyson Spheres, a sci-fi conceit postulating habitable shells around Sol-like stars, to “space chickens” and trees that grow in comets, Freeman Dyson is not afraid to go out on a cosmic limb. It would be wrong, however, to categorize him as a publicity-hungry peddler of headline-grabbing ideas. In his 60-year career as one of planet Earth’s most distinguished scientists, several things characterize Dyson more than anything else: compassion, caution and overwhelming humanism.