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Title: the Ĝ infrared search for extraterrestrial civilizations with large energy supplies. II. Framework, strategy, and first result

We describe the framework and strategy of the Ĝ infrared search for extraterrestrial civilizations with large energy supplies, which will use the wide-field infrared surveys of WISE and Spitzer to search for these civilizations' waste heat. We develop a formalism for translating mid-infrared photometry into quantitative upper limits on extraterrestrial energy supplies. We discuss the likely sources of false positives, how dust can and will contaminate our search, and prospects for distinguishing dust from alien waste heat. We argue that galaxy-spanning civilizations may be easier to distinguish from natural sources than circumstellar civilizations (i.e., Dyson spheres), although GAIA will significantly improve our capability to identify the latter. We present a zeroth order null result of our search based on the WISE all-sky catalog: we show, for the first time, that Kardashev Type III civilizations (as Kardashev originally defined them) are very rare in the local universe. More sophisticated searches can extend our methodology to smaller waste heat luminosities, and potentially entirely rule out (or detect) both Kardashev Type III civilizations and new physics that allows for unlimited 'free' energy generation.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 525 Davey Lab, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 16802 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 3801 West Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768 (United States)
  3. Blue Marble Space Institution of Science, P.O. Box 85561, Seattle, WA 98145-1561 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364971
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 792; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CATALOGS; DUSTS; ENERGY SUPPLIES; GALAXIES; INFRARED SURVEYS; LUMINOSITY; PHOTOMETRY; STARS; UNIVERSE