Our own sun might represent the best communications device around, if only we could harness its power, scientists say.
If the sun's gravity could be used to create a giant telescope, people could send and receive intensely magnified signals that could allow us to call an alien civilization, some researchers propose.
According to Einstein's general relativity, the sun's behemoth mass warps space-time around it, which actually bends light rays passing by like a giant lens. If a detector was placed at the right focal distance to collect the light, the resulting image would be extremely magnified.
The only catch is, the nearest focal point is about 550 times the distance between the Earth and the sun.
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