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
How warp speed would really look.   (University of Leicester)

(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."

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Showing 3 of 24 comments
MisterPlinkett
Jan 21, 2013 11:45 PM CST
Well, no shit.
janelanejones
Jan 21, 2013 12:42 AM CST
my first reaction was disappointment at seeing a star wars shot used for the story when it should be star trek:tng. newser obviously doesn't have enough nerds working there.
johnnylingo
Jan 20, 2013 4:58 PM CST
Star Wars ships don't move at warp speed. They use hyperspace, which isn't based on any known physics. Star TREK ships use warp speed, but travel in a warp bubble and thus are isolated from external phenomenon. The only thing dumber than arguing about hypothetical things is to compare them to fictional stories.