Another interesting Life development. Michael Simkin has found an orthogonal c/8 spaceship, the first of that speed. Or maybe better to say he’s built one, since it’s not an elementary spaceship discovered by a search program but a large engineered object. Furthermore the technology used, called a caterloopillar, can in principle be modified to produce spaceships — or, with trivial modifications, puffers or rakes — of any speed slower than c/4.
I said large. How large? Simkin says:
It’s pretty big. Some numbers:
minimal – 232,815
maximal – 239,370
bounding box ~ 734 X 500K
No really. That’s a spaceship. Zoomed in you can see it’s mostly periodic in structure.
If you look here you can see a big GIF showing some of the glider and standard orthogonal spaceship action going on within the ship.