Scientists at NASA have revealed a new plan to turn the Sun into a giant magnifying glass, tapping into a phenomenon called gravitational lensing to locate new planets in ultra-high resolution.
Gravitational lensing happens when light is taken from a distant object -- the sun, in this case -- and manipulated to warp around and view a much larger object, like another galaxy.
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Because of their massive size, galaxies are able to bend spacetime, which allows light to curve around them while traveling as opposed to passing right through them.
With that logic, researchers at NASA have proposed sending a telescope to an area in outer space known as the Solar Gravitational Lens (SGL) Focus.
There, scientists would be able to use the telescope to capture images of other planets with a resolution of 1000x1000 pixels.
If successful, this resolution would provide researchers with a much closer look on the surfaces of other planets and the ability to examine their geographical and atmospheric conditions and more.
That's because this special region resides along a line "that takes advantage of the fact that the Sun's large gravitational field focuses light from faint, distant sources into the SGL region," say the researchers.
"Such a possibility is truly unique and merits a detailed study in the context of a realistic mission."