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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday February 22 2014, @02:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-all-relative dept.

martyb writes:

"Scientists have discovered a pulsar (with an estimated mass of between 1.4 and 2 solar masses) traveling at an estimated 2.5 to 5 million mph (0.0035c to 0.007c). According to NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory:

Originally discovered with the European Space Agency satellite INTEGRAL, the pulsar is located about 60 light-years away from the center of the supernova remnant SNR MSH 11-61A in the constellation of Carina. Its implied speed is between 2.5 million and 5 million mph, making it one of the fastest pulsars ever observed.

By comparison, one of the fastest man-made objects is the Voyager-1 spacecraft, currently traveling at an estimated 38,100 mph relative to the sun, or approximately 0.000056c (5.6 x 10-5 c)."

 
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Saturday February 22 2014, @05:54AM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 22 2014, @05:54AM (#4705) Journal

    Comparing the speed of a pulsar to a man made object seems somewhat pointless.
    Its not like any of us can conceptualize Voyager-1's speed any way.

    Why not compare it to other pulsars or fast moving stars, or even the speed of our own star in its journey around the galaxy?

    Compared to the cosmic microwave background, our galaxy is barreling along at 1,234.788.83 mph [wikipedia.org], making this Pulsar look slower than molasses.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by mrcoolbp on Saturday February 22 2014, @06:35AM

    by mrcoolbp (68) <mrcoolbp@soylentnews.org> on Saturday February 22 2014, @06:35AM (#4711) Homepage

    It's all relative.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by stormwyrm on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:14AM

    by stormwyrm (717) on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:14AM (#4737) Journal

    I checked the WP link you've got there by the way, and did conversions myself. You do very odd mixing of commas and periods, and find that the Milky Way's speed relative to the CMB is 552 km/s or 1,230,000 mph (using the proper number of significant figures). The pulsar's speed is quoted as 2.5 to 5 million mph, or at least double and up to nearly five times faster than the Milky Way's speed relative to the CMB. The pulsar is moving away from its supernova remnant much faster than the Milky Way is moving relative to the CMB!

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    • (Score: 1) by mrdavis on Saturday February 22 2014, @03:52PM

      by mrdavis (729) on Saturday February 22 2014, @03:52PM (#4850)

      But how fast is it moving relative to the Library of Congress?

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by nobbis on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:40PM

    by nobbis (62) on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:40PM (#4818) Homepage Journal

    So how does it compare to the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow ?

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mtrycz on Saturday February 22 2014, @04:32PM

    by mtrycz (60) on Saturday February 22 2014, @04:32PM (#4863)

    A car analogy would be nice, actually.

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