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The Kardashev Scale assesses a civilization based on its capacity to harness the energy of the cosmos. The higher up the scale, the better the civilization is at using the abundant energy of its surrounding stars.

A new paper, published in preprint server ArXiv, looks at the potential for humans to reach the lofty category of Type I civilization.

To do so we would need to fully harness the energy of the Sun.

The Kardashev Scale was proposed by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964 as a means to measure a hypothetical civilization's level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy it is able to harness from the surrounding universe. 

Kardashev categorized civilizations into three types: planetary, stellar, and galactic. A Type I species is able to harness the same amount of stellar energy that reaches its home planet. Type II species can harness the energy of their host stars, and Type III are able to harness the energy of their home galaxy.


Some scientists believe that Type III civilizations may already out there. One team from Leiden University, for example, are looking for infrared signals that they believe could be the exhaust emissions of hypothetical Dyson spheres — massive machines that harness the power of a star. =

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