Scientists say that our sun may be the best communications device if we could harness its power.
The premise is that the sun’s gravity has such a massive gravity that it warps space-time around it. So it actually bends light passing it, almost like a giant lens.
They surmise that if we placed a detector at the focal point to collect the light, the result will be a massively magnified image. This technique could also be used in spectrums other than visible light.
It would be the largest optical telescope ever conceived.
The one thing stopping us from doing this is the great distances involved. The focal point is around 550 astronomical units (1 A.U. is the distance between the sun and Earth).
This ‘telesope’ could be used to view distant objects, communicate with interstellar probes, and even contact aliens.
“This is key to exploring the neighborhood of our galaxy in the centuries to come,” Claudio Maccone, technical director of the Paris-based International Academy of Astronautics told reporters.
The research was detailed in a recent issue of the journal Acta Astronautica.
You can read an in-depth article on this subject on the MSNBC website.