Scientists come up with crazy idea: Sun searches for extraterrestrial life as magnifying glass

BEIJING, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — If humans can carry out elaborate operations in space, the sun may one day reveal whether life forms are hidden on distant planets, according to the U.S. Life Science website, scientists have come up with a crazy idea of using the sun as a “magnifying glass” to search for potential extraterrestrial life.

Scientists come up with crazy idea: Sun searches for extraterrestrial life as magnifying glass

 Our sun may one day be able to reveal whether life forms are hidden on distant planets, and now scientists have come up with a crazy idea of using the sun as a “magnifying glass” to search for potential extraterrestrial life.

If the sun were used as a gravitational lens, it would be an important clue to the potential discovery of extraterrestrial life, and astrobiologists were actively looking for signals of life beyond Earth, and if they found signs of life on an extraterrestrial planet, they could infer that it was most likely caused by extraterrestrial life, yet scientists are usually good at hypothesis. It is easy to identify inanimate features as signs of life, which means that “life features” found on distant planets do not guarantee the discovery of extraterrestrial life.

So scientists hope to use other techniques to target bio-rich planets to ensure the authenticity of extraterrestrial life, said Sara Seager, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the recent International Astronautical Congress. We want to find a way to bring us closer to potential forms of life on extraterrestrial planets, and we are trying to verify that Earth humans are the only intelligent civilizations in the universe, but it is really hard to achieve this at the moment. “

Siegel points to a possible solution to the problem, designing microsatellites that can be used to propel a laser beam to star treks, and he has come up with a more crazy idea of using the sun as a gravitational lens.

Gravitational lenses, which actually work very much like convex lenses, are observed on the scale of the universe. The gravitational lensing effect is a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, in some large-mass objects near, space-time will be distorted, so that light in the vicinity of the mass object bends, causing light to travel along the short-range line of curved space, the final observer can see the space is blocked by the mass celestial body light source, Simply put, the gravitational lensing effect is when light bends like a convex lens as it passes near a giant object with gravity, such as galaxies, clusters, and black holes, and then we can see these objects or galaxies that were otherwise obscured. The age and distance of glowing objects or galaxies can then be calculated, depending on how irregularly the changed light appears in the extra-spectral band, and possibly the discovery of potential lying forms of life on the planet.

Astronomers have a lot of experience using galaxies as gravitational lenses, depending on the precise arrangement of three objects (observers, shields, light sources), first, the survey instrument is placed on Or around earth’s orbit, with the Earth as the first object of choice (observer); As a second object (block), it has a certain mass, its gravity can distort the path of light; When astronomers use large galaxies as gravitational lensing to correct targeting these objects, they can get clear images of the target objects.

Based on the same rationale, scientists can use the sun as a magnifying glass, and although it’s not the same as a galaxy as a gravitational lens, it’s a feat that needs to start with an incredible journey, Siegel said. Accelerated arrival of 500 astronomical units (1 astronomical unit refers to the distance between the Earth and the moon), compared with the voyage launched in 1977, voyager 1 is currently the furthest probe from Earth, but it is only 150 astronomical units from the sun. “

In addition, distance is not the only challenge, the calibration of gravitational lensing is still difficult, it is necessary to ensure that the precise arrangement of the three celestial bodies (difficult to detect, blockers, light sources) to be able to observe potential forms of life extraterrestrial planet. But in the open search for extraterrestrial life, every potential innovation and bold hypothesis has helped to unlock the mystery of the universe.

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