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Old October 23 2012, 02:14 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

^The resolution would be way too low, and there'd be too much light extinction due to interstellar gas and dust. Also, keep in mind that you need a concave mirror to focus the image in a reflecting telescope. Even if a neutron star surface were a perfect mirror, it would be a convex, spherical one. Most of the light impinging on it from Earth would be spread outward, not focused back at us.

Not to mention that a neutron star's surface might well be covered in cracks and subject to seismic activity, not as perfectly smooth as one might think. And it would be spinning rather fast. (So maybe kinda like a disco ball?) Not to mention that most neutron stars would be hot enough to incandesce, and that light would probably wash out any reflections.
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