Warp Speed Would Not Look Like This

Han Solo would have to wear sunglasses, students say

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 19, 2013 2:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Sorry, Trekkies and Star Wars fans: People traveling at warp speed wouldn't see stars morph into those cool beams of light. British physics students say it would look more like a general bright glow caused by the background radiation of the universe, LiveScience reports. That's because of the Doppler Effect, which would move starlight from the visible spectrum into the X-ray range, while shifting microwave radiation from the Big Bang into the visible spectrum.

And it would be bright: "If the Millennium Falcon existed and really could travel that fast, sunglasses would certainly be advisable," says a member of the University of Leicester team. "On top of this, the ship would need something to protect the crew from harmful X-ray radiation." In fact, the extra X-ray radiation would hinder the ship's progress and require extra energy to overcome. Says another team member: "Perhaps Disney should take the physical implications of such high speed travel into account in their forthcoming films."

How warp speed would really look.
How warp speed would really look.   (University of Leicester)
Han and Chewie take the Millennium Falcon into warp speed.
Han and Chewie take the Millennium Falcon into warp speed.   (YouTube)
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