This Is What a 'Star Wars' Laser Blast Looks Like In Real Life

Source: AP
Source: AP

The news: Ever wonder what a laser blast would actually look like? Well, scientists at the University of Warsaw and the Polish Academy of Sciences did. So they figured it out: 


Source: Eurekalert

Not quite as impressive as the ones in science fiction films like Star Wars, but it's still pretty cool. 

According to the scientists, the photo represents "a light pulse fired from a 10 [terawatt] laser, dispersing into water vapor. The blue glow is laser light, the source of the other colors is mainly plasma fiber." 

How'd they do it? You'll be happy to know no Bothan spies died to bring us this laser technology.

In fact, the Laser Centre at the Polish Academy of Sciences already had a powerful laser. Like avoiding Imperial entanglements, photographing the laser is the real trick.

Cameras recording billions of frames per second in one sequence do not exist. In order to film the traveling laser pulse, researchers from the Laser Centre of IPC PAS and FUW used an earlier known trick. A suitably adapted camera was synchronised with a laser generating laser pulses at a rate of approx. 10 shots per second. It was done in such a way that with every subsequent pulse the camera recorded an image minimally delayed than previous one.

Science fiction or science fact? A bit of both. 

While the United States is experimenting with weaponized lasers, they don't look anything like the science fiction laser rifles we know and love. 

The photo above is what a real weaponized laser looks like. It was a prototype of the U.S. Navy's Laswer Weapon System or LaWS. The Marines are planning on a similar laser system for shooting down drones.

These cumbersome, bulky, not-in-any-way sleek machines aren't what we think of when we hear "laser" but they're the closest we have.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

MORE FROM

How to use the Snapchat Map while everyone else continues to be confused about it

Everything you need to know about the new feature.

Scientists may have discovered a hidden planet in our solar system

There could be a ninth — or even 10th — planet hiding out in our solar system.

Scientists created a robot that will iron your clothes for you

Shut up and take my money.

Moth eyes have inspired the touchscreen of the future

It's going to change the anti-reflection game.

Twitter was flagging tweets including the word "queer" as potentially "offensive content"

Why Twitter put the word "queer" in the same category as violent, sexual imagery.

How Mark Zuckerberg wants to transform society through Facebook Groups

Facebook has a new mission.

How to use the Snapchat Map while everyone else continues to be confused about it

Everything you need to know about the new feature.

Scientists may have discovered a hidden planet in our solar system

There could be a ninth — or even 10th — planet hiding out in our solar system.

Scientists created a robot that will iron your clothes for you

Shut up and take my money.

Moth eyes have inspired the touchscreen of the future

It's going to change the anti-reflection game.

Twitter was flagging tweets including the word "queer" as potentially "offensive content"

Why Twitter put the word "queer" in the same category as violent, sexual imagery.

How Mark Zuckerberg wants to transform society through Facebook Groups

Facebook has a new mission.