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What would Han Solo really see from the Millennium Falcon?

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Physics students calculate what travelling close to the speed of light would really look like

Physics students have found that the depiction of hyperspace in Star Wars is light years away from how it would appear in reality.

A group of final year masters students from our Department of Physics and Astronomy published studies of this year?s Journal of Physics Special Topics.

In the Star Wars films, every star in the sky is seen to stretch before the characters? eyes as the hyperdrive is engaged.

The four students - Riley Connors, Katie Dexter, Joshua Argyle, and Cameron Scoular ? have shown that this would not be the case.

They have shown that the crew would actually see a central disc of bright light.

image

There would be no sign of stars because of the Doppler effect - the same effect which causes the siren of an ambulance to become higher in pitch as it comes towards you.

Doppler blue shift is a phenomenon caused by a source of electromagnetic radiation ? including visible light - moving towards an observer.

The effect means that the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation will be shortened.

From the Millennium Falcon crew?s point of view, the wavelength of the light from stars will decrease and ?shift? out of the visible spectrum into the X-ray range.

They would simply see a central disc of bright light as Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is shifted into the visible spectrum.

Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is radiation left behind from the Big Bang, and is spread across the universe fairly uniformly.

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So we can expect another George Lucas remastered remaster of the original? :p

Edit: The same effect was also used in Star Trek, but not mentioned :( oh well :p

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That's cool. I never thought about it before.

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that looks pretty much like what it looks like in the movie, all the lights become elongated like the effect in the pic, next thing you know, pan to follow cam, now you see it, now you dont :p

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So we can expect another George Lucas remastered remaster of the original? :p

Edit: The same effect was also used in Star Trek, but not mentioned :( oh well :p

[geek mode]

Star Trek is different, as explained in the Star Trek Technical Manual.

When in a warp bubble, there is no interaction of visible light between real space and warp space. Because of this, all you see with the naked eye is a blank void. Early warp flights were forced to drop out of warp space frequently to check their position and correct course. Later on, sub space sensors were developed to detect space outside the warp bubble, and the ship computer uses this data to provide a corrected visual display for those on board.

IIRC, even the windows are fitted with little projectors so the crew gets something to look at.

[/geek mode]

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It never made sense. Think about it, Alpha Centauri is 4.37 light years from the Sun. Even if you were traveling at the speed of light, it's not like you'd be flying past multiple stars in seconds, as the movie depicted.

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If warp speed wants to sell itself I suggest it goes hollywood, no one is going to get excited about seeing that near monochromatic view. Projectors on the windows of our warp vessel post haste!

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It never made sense. Think about it, Alpha Centauri is 4.37 light years from the Sun. Even if you were traveling at the speed of light, it's not like you'd be flying past multiple stars in seconds, as the movie depicted.

That's a good point.

I personally prefer the depiction of hyper-speed travel in space as seen in the beginning of the original the Planet of the Apes. It looks closer to being real as you've described it.

So we can expect another George Lucas remastered remaster of the original? :p

Please no :laugh: but I think we are safe since he sold his company with all the rights to Walt Disney last year.

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My immersion is ruineeeeeddd!

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It never made sense. Think about it, Alpha Centauri is 4.37 light years from the Sun. Even if you were traveling at the speed of light, it's not like you'd be flying past multiple stars in seconds, as the movie depicted.

When you move at the speed of light i think the distance is contracted. Not sure but i think the 4.37 light years away is calculated using the distance at a normal speed. At the speed of light it would not take as much time to get there. Not sure but that's something i recall from school lol being in the late 30 my meromy could be failing tough.

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When you move at the speed of light i think the distance is contracted. Not sure but i think the 4.37 light years away is calculated using the distance at a normal speed. At the speed of light it would not take as much time to get there. Not sure but that's something i recall from school lol being in the late 30 my meromy could be failing tough.

Well, there would be the doppler shift, as noted in the article. To put it in a different perspective, at the speed of light, it would take you somewhere between 4 and 20 minutes to get to Mars (depending on where it is relative to Earth). Say it takes 12 minutes, and in that time you haven't even left our own solar system. Heck, you haven't even gone that far in our own solar system.

So, to pass that many points of light that quickly, you're clearly at FTL travel, at which point you're probably going to move in some way that is beyond the visible spectrum (for humans).

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Well, there would be the doppler shift, as noted in the article. To put it in a different perspective, at the speed of light, it would take you somewhere between 4 and 20 minutes to get to Mars (depending on where it is relative to Earth). Say it takes 12 minutes, and in that time you haven't even left our own solar system. Heck, you haven't even gone that far in our own solar system.

So, to pass that many points of light that quickly, you're clearly at FTL travel, at which point you're probably going to move in some way that is beyond the visible spectrum (for humans).

Does this doppler shift still apply at FTL speeds?

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Does this doppler shift still apply at FTL speeds?

Well, uh, find something traveling faster than light and ask it. :laugh:

Every theory I've read of FTL travel involves some space-time manipulation, at which point the object traveling FTL probably wouldn't be visible to an external observer, and I imagine the same would be true for the passengers doing the traveling.

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Well, uh, find something traveling faster than light and ask it. :laugh:

Every theory I've read of FTL travel involves some space-time manipulation, at which point the object traveling FTL probably wouldn't be visible to an external observer, and I imagine the same would be true for the passengers doing the traveling.

And that's the thing. This article makes no sense because it's trying to apply the rules of physics to something that's clearly FTL travel. Immersion restored.

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My head hurts from reading these responses... since I do see myself going into hyperspace anytime soon I am not going to worry about what I will see.. or in this case.. wont see.

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That's a good point.

I personally prefer the depiction of hyper-speed travel in space as seen in the beginning of the original the Planet of the Apes. It looks closer to being real as you've described it.

I just liked the way he smoked a cigar before putting on a nicotine patch and then shooting up. No wonder he saw all those lights :)

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And that's the thing. This article makes no sense because it's trying to apply the rules of physics to something that's clearly FTL travel. Immersion restored.

Well, yeah, I mean there's no reason to worry about it. The bigger issue of the Star Wars hyperdrive is that a ship coming out of it would probably emit a bubble of energy strong enough to blow up a Death Star all by itself.

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The Star Wars special effect is fine; nothing wrong with it at all. It's science fiction after all, not science fact.

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So we can expect another George Lucas remastered remaster of the original? :p

Edit: The same effect was also used in Star Trek, but not mentioned :( oh well :p

Please no :laugh: but I think we are safe since he sold his company with all the rights to Walt Disney last year.

Read a little more into the sale, he owns $2 billion in stock in the company, which I believe makes him one of the top/major share holders, so he still has a lot of say so in what Disney does with the Lucas branded divisions.

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The Star Wars special effect is fine; nothing wrong with it at all. It's science fiction after all, not science fact.

Wait till wretched time dilation gets mentioned and how it (probably totally backforwards) works in FTL :whistle:

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but they didn't answer the question 'what happens when you're traveling at faster than the speed of light, and you turn the headlights on?'

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The Star Wars special effect is fine; nothing wrong with it at all. It's science fiction after all, not science fact.

Technically, Star Wars is Science Fantasy not fiction. ;)

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Oh well, one guess is as good as another I suppose. :D

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but they didn't answer the question 'what happens when you're traveling at faster than the speed of light, and you turn the headlights on?'

Don't worry no one will see you coming. ;)

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