Transluminal event query for physicists : Celebrating Independence Day on Zargol VII
I hope Dr. Dobb's CodeTalk readers can help me understand a recent text message from a friend visiting the distant planet Zargol VII. She claims to have seen there a wave propagate at transluminal speed ...
The inhabitants of Zargol VII are very planetriotic, so every Independence Day they set off a visual display that can't be beat.
Months prior to the event, they deploy a large number of satellites all in an identical orbital sphere somewhat distant from the planet. The arc of the orbit is such that the chords separating the satellites from one another are about one light-second in length.
The computerized control for each the satellite is synchronized to sidereal time as viewed from ground control.
At a chosen moment on Independence Day, the satellites, which are in reality nuclear devices, ignite in sequence about 1/2 second apart, as perceived from the ground, and the light from these many ignitions seems to progress sequentially across the sky, writing out in flaming cursive letters "Zgnwots Zargol Finsterblotz!" which I am informed is a very, very, planetriotic slogan.
My friend visiting Zargol VII assures me she witnessed this, and furthermore describes the progression of the illumnation across space as a "transluminal propagation of a wave form."
Physicists reading this account: Should I believe my friend? Or is her analysis of the event she witnessed flawed?