Spaceship/Snippet

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A spaceship (much less commonly referred to as a glider or a fish) is a finite pattern that returns to its initial state after a number of generations (known as its period) but in a different location. The speed of a spaceship is the number of cells that the pattern moves during its period. This is expressed in terms of c (the metaphorical "speed of light") which is one cell per generation; thus, a spaceship with a period of five that moves two cells to the left during its period travels at the speed of 2c/5. Most known spaceships in Life travel either orthogonally (only horizontal or vertical displacement) or diagonally (equal horizontal and vertical displacement). However, several large Conway's Life spaceships have been engineered that travel in various oblique directions, and it is known that Life has spaceships that travel in all rational directions at arbitrarily slow speeds.