University of Leicester Students Show You What Jumping To Hyperspace Would Actually Look Like

Senior Contributor
01.17.13 11 Comments

The University of Leicester recently asked its physics students what a jump to hyperspace would actually look like. And they went and figured it out.

Namely, it’d look like this:

OK, so that’s less dramatic, until you realize that they’d basically be seeing the beginning of the universe. But more on that in a minute. Why don’t we see the star streaks?

Because of the Doppler effect. Light behaves in very weird ways when we move through space. For example, when we look at light moving away from the observer, it turns red because the wavelengths are being increased by a similar proportion. The further away the object is, the redder it looks to us.

What Han, Leia and company experience, though, is pretty much the exact opposite since, after all, they are moving faster than light:

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 essentially what was left over from the Universe creating itself. It is something no human being has “seen” per se, although if you flip a radio to static, you can listen to it.

So, basically, it wouldn’t be dramatic, but it would still be awe-inspiring.

Thanks to regular reader Alexander Lerche for the tip!

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