In the case of luminous astronomical objects, radial velocity can be calculated from the displacement of spectral lines from their normal position: a object moving toward us has a blueshifted spectrum, while an object moving away has a redshifted spectrum. The larger the blueshift or redshift, the larger the radial velocity. The present radial-velocity champion for a star in the Milky Way Galaxy is Giclas 233-27 in Lacerta, which is approaching us at 583 km/s. External galaxies and, especially, quasars, may show very large recessional radial velocities due to the overall expansion of the universe. Compare with transverse velocity.
Related categories CLASSICAL MECHANICS
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