“Alpha Centauri Up Close!” –NASA Looks at Using the Sun as a Giant Gravity Lens to Study Alien Planets
The search for a second Earth orbiting another star is one of astronomy’s greatest challenges. It’s a task that each passing day appears close to fruition. Since astronomers spotted the first exoplanet in 1988, they have confirmed more than 1,000 others through NASA’s Kepler Mission.
An Italian space scientist, Claudio Maccone, who chairs the International Academy of Astronautics Permanent SETI Committee, proposed that gravitational lensing could be used for something even more extraordinary: searching for radio signals from alien civilizations, using the sun as a gravitational lens to make an extraordinarily sensitive radio telescope.