16 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 Dyson Spheres

The material factors which ultimately limit the expansion of a technically advanced species are the supply of matter and the supply of energy. At present the material resources being exploited by the human species are roughly limited to the biosphere of the earth, a mass of the order of 5 X 10^19 grams. Our present energy supply may be generously estimated at 10^20 ergs per second. The quantities of matter and energy which might conceivably become accessible to us within the solar system are ...
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The energy and time required to dismantle a planet and turn it into a biosphere surrounding a sun.

15 DEC 2011 by ideonexus

 If Life Can Exist in Sea Vents, Then It Can Exist Elsewhe...

The fact that this chain of life existed [at volcanic vents on the seafloor] in the black cold of the deep sea and was utterly independent of sunlight—previously thought to be the font of all Earth's life—has startling ramifications. If life could flourish there, nurtured by a complex chemical process based on geothermal heat, then life could exist under similar conditions on planets far removed from the nurturing light of our parent star, the Sun.
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Increasing the range of places life can occur in the universe.