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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
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.

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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." (Read more spaceship stories.)

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