Sending a Fleet of Spacecraft to Find Habitable Planets Beyond Our Galaxy

A new project would turn the solar system into a giant optical lens

The Solar Gravity Lens aims to capture images of planets tens or hundreds of light years away with surface resolution down to the scale of a few kilometers.

When Galileo pointed his homemade telescope at Jupiter and its moons more than 400 years ago, he fundamentally changed how humanity viewed its place in the cosmos. Since then, astronomers have learned to peer farther and farther into the reaches of the universe, first by…