From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul> Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 19:50:18 -0000 Fwd Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 10:36:41 -0500 Subject: Re: A Defense Against Planetary Attack - Shough >Source: Paul Gilster's Centauri Dreams - Raleigh, > North Carolina, USA >http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=974 >January 7th, 2007 >Recently in his book The Sun as a Gravitational Lens: Proposed >Space Missions, Claudio Maccone, a space scientist at Alenia >Aerospazio in Turin, Italy, suggests implementing the sun's >gravitational lensing effect (as predicted by Einstein's General >Theory of Relativity) in a telescope. In other words, the Sun >could be used as a lens producing an aperture the diameter of >the sun. Its focus is at about six hundred astronomical units >away. If the proper equipment were placed at the Solar focus, >extremely detailed images of extra-solar planetary surfaces >could be captured. Civilizations only moderately more advanced >than we are could quite possible implement such a telescope. >Therefore, even quiet civilizations could be seen through such >a telescope. Eventually, detection of such civilizations may not >depend on their directly communicating with us by sending >signals. The lght from their star boucning off of their alien >rooftops and then onward to our giant telescope may be enough. Problem with this in practice is that you need to know exactly where to look in the first place because you have to set up your detector with some precision in a certain small spot many AU from the sun and precisely aligned on the planet you want to look at. A very long-term and and expensive mission. We might think it was worth doing if we already had solid evidence from some other source (radio, whatever) that there was something to look at though.
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