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No. 31: Jan-Feb 1984

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An orphan superluminal glob?

Radioastronomical observations of quasar 3C345 have picked out a glob of material that seems to be travelling at between 13 and 17 times the velocity of light. (Such "superluminal" speeds may be apparent and not physically real.) This speedy mass of material is not moving radially away from 3C345 and even seems to be accelerating! Although this glob may have been ejected from 3C345 and followed a curved path, its present path may imply a different origin. (Moore, R.L., et al; "Superluminal Acceleration in 3C345," Nature, 306:44, 1983.)

Comment. We classify superluminal velocities as anomalous until their real nature is established. But here we have the added anomalies of acceleration and a possible extra-quasar origin.

From Science Frontiers #31, JAN-FEB 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss