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Can Starbow Really Be Seen?

In SF novels and movies -- according to the presentation that makes it visible, the star is blue when its motion is approaching the speed of light, while the light behind it becomes red.

Though the theory is comprehensible, it's a question of being able to really see Starbow.

Both infrared rays and ultraviolet rays--which are invisible in a state of rest--become captured in a state of motion. The star's resulting color, as seen with the naked eye, is perhaps not white, is what I think.

Starbow == Star Rainbow

A sight in which, from the bridge of a spaceship, a star is seen flying through space almost at the speed of light.

Star Rainbow (Starbow) is, to put it simply, seen when navigating space at sublight speed. The position of the star's outer appearance, through partial irregularity, moves forward at the spaceship's motion. The star's spectrum, still through partial Doppler broadening, is when the shifted star's "color" changes. Those effects are the unified outcome. From the spaceship's bridge, it is told that one can see the star's rainbow which is shaped like a ring acting as the center to its motion.

As for the actual star's spectrum -- since light of various wavelengths has a continuously mixed spectrum, seeing Starbow as a seven-colored rainbow is obviously hard. Therefore Starbow is probably not as dazzling as when it was first imagined to be.

Meanwhile, in the actual universe exist numerous heavenly bodies other than the stars. For instance, interstellar clouds such as the HI cloud, ionized hydrogen cloud, and the molecular cloud. Protostars, white dwarves, neutron stars, X-ray binaries, and 3K background radiation and such like. These heavenly bodies are as far as one can see from the ground. They are not noticeable through visible light, which is seen through infrared rays, electrical waves, and X-rays. They simply ought to enter the range of visible light by way of the Doppler effect when traveling at sublight speed.

Imagining it does not come easy. The genuine Starbow is probably, for one, apparently not a fantasized view with the effect of a kaleidoscope, flashing the surface of the jewel (the entire heavenly body collective under Doppler broadening) to make it shine in 4 colors instead of 3, on a mismatching patchworked backdrop.


Updated April 27th, 2016 at 11:18 PM by T-Toh