The science fiction vision of stars hurtling by as sharp streaks when spaceships travel in hyperspace—that is, travel faster than light—isn’t supported by physics.

In theory, were any spacecraft to move at the speed of light, the frequency of light would be shifted so dramatically that it would fall outside the visible spectrum. Which means astronauts on board wouldn’t see any starlight, at all.

Instead, cosmic microwave background radiation, left behind after the Big Bang, would veer into the visible spectrum, and the crew would see a disc of luminous glow.