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Session 38 - Modeling & Numerical Methods.
Display session, Wednesday, June 11
South Main Hall,

[38.01] Our Sun as a Gravitational Lens

R. J. Nemiroff, C. Ftaclas (Michigan Tech.)

The effectiveness of our Sun as a gravitational lens is evaluated in two cases: opaque and transparent. The opaque Sun's minimum focal point is about 550 AU distant, as with most electromagnetic radiation. The transparent Sun has a minimum focal length of about 30 AU, as with gravitational radiation and neutrinos. Although tremendous magnifications of sources placed directly behind the Sun's center theoretically exist for properly positioned outer Solar System spacecraft, realistic detection appears quite difficult. Specifically, realistic use of the Sun as a lens seems always to be frustrated by either the brightness of the Sun, the inability to predict the occurrence of bright burst phenomena, the long-wave nature of predictable sources of gravitational radiation, and the lack of detectable neutrino sources. Possible ways around these impediments are discussed, as are possible scientific returns.

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