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The sight of the Millennium Falcon making the "jump to lightspeed" is one of the most iconic images from the Star Wars trilogy.

But University of Leicester students have calculated that – in reality – Han, Luke and Leia would not see the light from stars stretching past the ship as we are shown in the movies.

The group of fourth year MPhys students published the findings in this year's University of Leicester's Journal of Physics Special Topics. The journal is published every year, and features original short papers written by students in the final year of their four-year Master of Physics degree.

The students are encouraged to be imaginative with their topics, and the aim is for them to learn about aspects of publishing and peer review.

In the films, spacecraft are equipped with hyperdrives which allow them to approach the speed of light.

As the hyperdrive is engaged, every star in the sky is seen to stretch before the characters' eyes as the ship speeds through the galaxy.

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.

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