I have been thinking about this crazy telescope idea, but I am not smart enough to understand if it's technically possible. I understand from an engineering and practical point of view it's a long way off, but I am mainly interested in its technical possibility.

  1. Imagine 3 balls, 1 KM in diameter, a few KM apart from each other, "perfectly" absorbing light. The idea is they act like a mirror, but can do so in all directions. So the light is not reflected to a central sensor, but somewhat processed once absorbed.

If this sounds too convoluted, replace the balls with normal 1KM mirrors.

  1. Put 3 of these 3 mirror/balls swarms around the sun, at least 500 AU away so we can take advantage of gravitational lensing.

What I would like to know:

a. is interferometry possible with this set-up? I know for that you require precise location details, is that theoretically possible at such distances? What about computational resources required to combine the light?

b. what kind of details would we be able to observe using this kind of telescope, on an exoplanet for example?

  • $\begingroup$ If your design uses Solar gravitational lensing, you're committing to only using it to look at whatever is on the opposite side of the Sun from your detector. Hopefully the object or star system you built this telescope to look at is worth the effort, because you can't point it at anything else feasibly. $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 11:51


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