(ORDO NEWS) — Theoretically, a new type of telescope could provide close-ups of extraterrestrial worlds.
To date, astronomers have identified over 5,000 exoplanets orbiting distant stars, but we actually know very little about them because they are so far away.
Now, researchers have come up with the idea of a new type of telescope that will help solve this problem by using the Sun’s gravity to magnify objects located in other star systems.
This method, known as gravitational lensing, is already being used by astronomers to study galaxies that are very far away, but the possibility of using it to observe planets has been explored relatively recently.
For a “gravitational” telescope to function, it must be positioned in such a way that it is aligned with the Sun, exactly between it and the planet it wants to see.
If everything is done correctly, the resulting image will be magnified by about 1000 times, which will allow you to see distant planets as clearly as, for example, Mars or Jupiter.
“We want to take pictures of planets orbiting other stars that will be as good as pictures of the planets in our solar system,” said Professor Bruce McIntosh.
With this technology, we hope to photograph a planet that is 100 light-years away and similar to Earth.”
However, there is one catch – the technology necessary to bring this idea to life does not currently exist, which means that a gravitational telescope is unlikely to appear in the near future.
However, astronomers hope that in a few years there will be technologies that will make it possible.
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