Christo in Space

One of the topics at the Pale Blue Dot workshop last week was detection of technological biosignatures.

Serious discussion on everything from “I Love Lucy”, early warning radars, and Dyson Sphere’s to isotopic signatures of fission waste disposal in main sequence stars. The latter is stranger than you think – consider Przybylski’s Star.
My particular favourite is the prospect of finding a pulsar, or several pulsars – preferably millisecond pulsars; with a period derivative exactly equal to zero…

So, I got to thinking. What can we actually see on Earth from space?


Artistics monuments to vanity. And imagine how they’d look with the original limestone cladding shining brilliant white.

This is what we will see from distant civilizations, whether live, or dead relics of past cultures.

Monumental conceptual art, lasting for millions of years.
Christo on the Moon, or at L2, done with the budget of the manic space cadet grandson of a dot-commer.

Like this – the Allen Array may not last, the Square Kilometer Array may rust to nothing, but the Third and Greatest Installation of Umbrellas could last an eon.

Although maybe we should go with something more topical (see here for a smaller concept – awesome).

But, will we know it when we see it?


  1. #1 up2orbit
    September 26, 2006

    Sci Fi author Jack McDevitt has an interesting take on Large Space Art (my term, not his). Of course, it takes four novels for the protagonist to finally discover the true nature of some very large events that are hypothesized to be the work of some unknown artist of an unknown civilization. The four novels are The Engines of God, Deepsix, Chindi, and Omega.

  2. #2 Aesmael
    September 29, 2006

    He did write more! Must find and devour.

  3. #3 up2orbit
    September 29, 2006

    Yeah, I loved his framing of the whole space society. I was completely science-y and visionary. It made space exploration a poetic and noble thing. Beautiful writing, especially in The Engines of God and Deepsix.

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