The first exoplanet was discovered in 1992. Since then, astronomers have discovered nearly 5,000 planets orbiting other stars. However, when a new exoplanet is discovered, little information is available about it. All that is known is that the exoplanet exists and has a few features. Everything else, however, remains a mystery. To address this problem, astrophysicists at Stanford University have been working on a new conceptual imaging technique that would be 1,000 times more accurate than the strongest imaging technology in use today. Scientists could, in theory, manipulate the warping effect of gravity on space-time, known as lensing, to develop images far more sophisticated than those currently available.
The researchers seem to have figured out how to use solar gravitational lensing to see planets outside our solar system. The scientists’ future technology could enable significantly more sophisticated astronomical imaging than is currently possible.
Scientists could use the sun’s gravitational field to magnify the light from a passing exoplanet by using a telescope to align the sun and the exoplanet, with the sun at the center.
A gravitational lens, unlike a magnifying glass with a curved surface that bends light, has a curved space-time that allows it to image distant objects.
The researchers published their findings in the May 2 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
However, the proposed method would require more advanced spaceflight than is currently possible. Nevertheless, the researchers believe that the concept’s promise, as well as what it could tell about other worlds, deserves further research and development.
It wasn’t until 1919, during a solar eclipse, when gravitational lensing was experimentally detected. Scientists were able to see stars near the sun that had shifted from their known positions because the moon was blocking the light from the sun. This was the first observational evidence that Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity was correct, and it was unequivocal evidence that gravity could bend light.
Bruce Macintosh, a physics professor at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences and deputy director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, said they want to use this technology to take pictures of planets orbiting other stars that are as good as the planets. pictures they can take of planets in the solar system. The researchers hope to capture a photo of a planet 100 light-years away that will have the same impact as a photo of Earth taken by Apollo 8.