This July 29, 2022, famous site Nosphere notes that it found 5,121 Since 51 Pegasi B, a discovery has resulted in Nobel Prizes Michael Mayer and Didier Kulos. Futura was recently interviewed Now world famous, The French Jean Schneider.
Knowledge of the existence of these exoplanets is an extraordinary advance in historyHomo sapiens But that’s still partly because, for the most part, we only have estimatesAnd distances to these exoplanets, and some rare spectra composition Shorten it.
Obviously, we would like to have at least images of details of these exoplanets, especially if they are possible exo-Earths. Ideally, we want to detect biosignatures and even technological signatures there.
TheRecently allocated new funds for the study of a fascinating project to be carried out during the XXIe century for this purpose. The plan itself is on the cards and there is no question of physically carrying it out yet. it is a In 1979 Stanford University researcher V.R. Gravitational Sun.
In concrete terms, it is to take advantage of the fact that the fieldA celestial body refracts the light rays like a lens and therefore provides a magnification factor to create images. Standing at a distance So you can use it To create an image of an exoplanet a Record, as we had a Far greater than anything that can be built on earth Distorting a under its own weight.
An array of telescopes powered by solar sails
Currently, the general opinions on this matter are as follows:
If we make images of an exoplanet directly using gravitational lensing, as in a telescope, we will get ambiguous results. It is best to fly multiple instruments in a swarm, each observing a portion of a loop.For the solar lens, that is, a distortion of the image of the exoplanet forming a ring, as in some observations. Uses strong gravitational lensing created by galaxies.
With an instrument whose mirror diameter is about one meter, images of the surface of these exoplanets can be obtained with a resolution of the order of a few tens of kilometers.
However, there are several problems with this idea. With current propulsion technology, it takes about a century to send instruments a good distance. We can reduce this period to 25-30 years, which is reasonable . The technology of these sails is not yet perfected, but is reasonably handy.Using the life of a person involved in this project
Descriptions of a recent concept for a mission to use solar gravitational lensing to image exoplanets. © Aerospace Corporation