(ORDO NEWS) — Initial data showed that the find was moving at a speed that was seven times the speed of light. But it’s just not possible.
We tell how scientists explained this “superluminal” movement that violates the laws of physics, and what kind of object it was.
We are talking about a relativistic jet, or jet. It was spawned by an event dubbed GW170817.
Under this name, the collision of two neutron stars is encrypted, which released energy comparable to a supernova explosion, writes IFLScience.
This phenomenon was first recorded in 2017. Even then, it attracted the attention of scientists, but its detailed analysis took more than one year.
The fact is that the Hubble data showed that the jet (or rather, the flow of particles in it) was moving at a “superluminal” speed, violating the logical and physical laws of the world.
To unravel how this is possible and why Hubble provides such intriguing but meaningless data, other telescopes and scientific instruments had to be connected to the study of the jet.
It turned out that the appearance of exceeding the speed of light arose due to an optical illusion. Scholars explain it this way:
The jet is pointed almost at Earth, so the light emitted as it expands has to travel a shorter distance to reach us.
The delay between the moment when the light is emitted from the leading edge of the jet and the point of its origin is masked. This creates the illusion of moving faster than the speed of light.
By measuring the difference between how fast the jet travels and its maximum possible speed, the authors were able to calculate the angle of the jet relative to the Earth in the range of 19 to 25 degrees.
This, in turn, helped them estimate how close the jet’s speed was to the speed of light.
“Our result shows that the relativistic jet was traveling at least 99.97% of the speed of light when it was launched,” said scientist Wenbin Lu of the University of California at Berkeley. And although this value does not violate any laws, it still amazes the imagination.
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