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A Telescope at the Solar Gravitational Lens: Problems and SolutionsBy Einstein's general theory of relativity, gravity of a massive body deflects light, and thus the sun can be used as a lens. The focus of the sun's gravitational lens is about 550 AU (Astronomical Units). (The sun continues to act as a lens beyond this minimum; at longer distances, the focused light passes increasingly far from the solar limb.) A mission to the gravitational focus of the sun, beyond the edge of the solar system, but far closer than the nearest stars, could be a target for an interstellar precursor. Proposed methods of reaching the focal distance include electric propulsion or laser- or solar sails. An objective for such a mission is to use the gravitational lens to image and map an extrasolar planet.
Document ID
Document Type
Landis, Geoffrey A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
June 6, 2018
Publication Date
October 4, 2017
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW 2017): Step by Step: Building A Ladder to the Stars
Location: Huntsville, AL
Country: United States
Start Date: October 3, 2017
End Date: October 6, 2017
Sponsors: Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 083244.04.03.01
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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