Bruce Macintosh, when he was a first-year student at the University of Toronto, has the idea that eventually, we humans will be able to point a telescope at a distant star, capture a snapshot of a world that is unfamiliar from that of hours, with it being way too far off that even with the existence of warp drives or hyperspace, that far away world would have been impossible to visit. Bruce Macintosh is now Dr. Macintosh, a physicist with Stanford University and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, and he has recently made a trip to a mountain top in Chile and fulfilled that dream of his.
Dr. Macintosh said, “It was pretty astonishing. The first few minutes we were just staring at it and saying ‘Is that little blob real?’” It took 10 years to design and build such a camera that had an extremely specific purpose, so it was a pleasant surprise for Dr. Macintosh and his colleagues to see just how amazing their new device functioned at checking out a planet that lies over 60 light-years away from Earth. This could very well be a watermark event, laying down a marker for the future where we can check out an image of solar systems beyond our own.