Columbia University continues to amazethe scientific world with new projects and proposals. The astronomer from this university, David Kipping, proposed using the Earth’s atmosphere as a lens for a giant telescope. Information about this was published by Science News.
The scientist has already given the name to his project: "Terracoscope." The idea of David Kipping is that if you place a spacecraft at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth, then the light of distant planets, passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, going around our planet and converging into a beam from the opposite side, will be directed to the mirror of that same space the ship. This design solution will allow you to collect more light from objects that are impossible to study at present, using the existing telescopes. Such observations will reveal the details of exoplanets, such as, for example, the relief of celestial bodies or the presence of clouds (which indicates the presence of water in the atmosphere of space objects).
Some astronomers have criticized Kipping's idea. They believe that it cannot be realized: it is difficult to block unwanted light from the Earth itself to blur images, because the rays entering the atmosphere are refracted differently at different heights. However, many researchers consider the proposal worthy of attention and further consideration.