Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT
Physics Students Calculate What Hyperspace Travel Might Really Look Like
George Lucas may have sold his Star Wars franchise to Disney a little too soon, missing out on an opportunity to release yet another re-mastered special edition with authentic looking hyperspace travel. That's right folks, we've all been misled by Hollywood (shocking, but true!); traveling through galaxies at warp speed in real-life would look nothing like it does on the big screen in practically any sci-fi flick you can think of.
Here's how most of us think about traveling at lightspeed:
Turns out that's a bogus depiction of what it would actually look like, according to University of Leicester students. Don't go gloating, Star Trek fans, those same students also dismissed all these fancy Warp Drive scenes:
The fourth year physics students -- Riley Connors, Katie Dexter, Joshua Argyle, and Cameron Scoular -- say that passengers of lightspeed travel would see a central disc of bright light rather than stretched out stars. In fact, there would be no signs of stars because of the "Doppler Effect," which is the same effect that causes the siren of an ambulance to become higher in pitch as it comes closer.
So, what would hyperspace travel really look like? Buckle up and take a gander:
Image Source: University of Leicester
It's not just the view from the cockpit that Hollywood got wrong, either. The students say that intense X-rays from stars would push the Millennium Falcon and/or the Enterprise back, slowing each one down. The pressure would be comparable to what's felt at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
"If the Millennium Falcon existed and really could travel that fast, sunglasses would certainly be advisable. On top of this, the ship would need something to protect the crew from harmful X-ray radiation," Connors said.