How slow do you want it?

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:

cell count:
minimal – 232,815
maximal – 239,370

bounding box ~ 734 X 500K

Note, not 734K but 734 by 500K. Loaded into Golly and zoomed to fit it looks like this:Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 8.31.26 AM

No really. That’s a spaceship. Zoomed in you can see it’s mostly periodic in structure.

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 8.31.46 AM

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.

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