Gargantuan jet of energy travels at seven times speed of light in cosmic optical illusion

Astronomers have detected a gargantuan blast of energy from space that appears to be doing the impossible: Traveling seven times faster than the speed of light.

This is, of course, an optical illusion – a rare and mind-boggling phenomenon called superluminal motion, which occurs when particles come very close to moving at the speed of light. In this case, scientists detected a jet of energy blasting out of a stellar collision site at a staggering 99.97% of the speed of light – about 670 million mph (1.07 billion km / h), according to a study published Oct. 12 in the journal Nature (opens in new tab).

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