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b2o2b2o$3b2o$3b2o$obo2bobo$o6bo2$o6bo$b2o2b2o$2b4o2$3b2o$3b2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ TRACKLOOP 10 0 -1/10 THUMBSIZE 3 GPS 5 HEIGHT 800 WIDTH 483 ]]
Pattern type Spaceship
Number of cells 28
Bounding box 6×12
Direction Orthogonal
Period 10
Mod 10
Speed c/10
Speed (unsimplified) c/10
Heat 27.8
Discovered by zdr
Year of discovery 2016

Copperhead is a c/10 orthogonal spaceship discovered by "zdr" on March 5, 2016 using a modified version of gfind known as zfind.[1] It was the first spaceship of this speed to be discovered, and surprised many due to its small size and high period.

The copperhead ranked second place in the Pattern of the Year 2016 competition on the forums, behind the caterloopillars.[2]


The ship hauls a block behind it, which makes for interesting reactions involving other ships. Dean Hickerson built a sawtooth, that uses copperhead's ability to turn a heavyweight spaceship into a loaf.[3] It can also eat gliders and middleweight spaceships cleanly from behind, and lightweight spaceships from the side of the block. Its front end can cleanly burn through blinkers, creating a c/10 blinker fuse.


Main article: Fireship

Simon Ekström found what appeared to be a tagalong with a large spark on March 20, 2016.[4] Unlike most tagalongs, this tagalong actually temporarily interacts with the hauled block, and is thus not a true tagalong but a whole new spaceship, named fireship due to its unusual spark.[5] However, blocks hauled by the tagalongs in tagalong pyramids are unaffected, and are thus true tagalongs.

A 2c/20 tagalong for the fireship is also known, discovered by christoph.r on October 11, 2018.[6]


Main article: Cottonmouth

A true pushalong known as the cottonmouth was found by AforAmpere on March 24, 2018 for both the copperhead and the similar fireship. Because its front end matches that of the copperhead, it can be infinitely placed on itself.[7]


The first synthesis was proposed by Aidan F. Pierce on the day of discovery. An alternative synthesis utilising fumarole as a predecessor, presented by Tanner Jacobi an hour later, was much more efficient. After optimizations by Mark Niemiec and Chris Cain the total synthesis cost made 22 gliders. A copperhead gun was then completed by Alexey Nigin on March 6, 2016.[8] A faster gun was constructed one day later.[9]

gmc_nxtman reduced the copperhead's synthesis cost to 14 gliders on July 9, 2017;[10] 2718281828 posted a 13-glider synthesis on January 9, 2018.[11]

Soup search results

The first copperhead to emerge from the ash of a soup appeared on April 4, 2016 in a D2_+2 haul submitted to Catagolue by Apple Bottom.[12][13] Several more copperheads have since been found in this and other related symmetries. It is the first and currently only spaceship with a non-standard speed to appear in a symmetric soup search, although the loafer has appeared in an asymmetric soup.


Various names were proposed on the day of the ship's discovery; for example copperhead, blockhauler, decapod, cuttlefish and blockfish. zdr settled on copperhead.[14]


A simple copperhead eater found by Simon Ekström.[15]
View animated image
The phase the copperhead was first found in.

In other rules

DryLife's goldenhead.

In the cellular automaton DryLife, an extremely similar spaceship (dubbed the goldenhead) also travels at c/10 orthogonal. It differs from the normal copperhead by 2 cells in one phase. A normal copperhead at this phase will turn into a goldenhead in DryLife, and conversely this phase will return to a copperhead in normal Life.

See also


  1. zdr (March 5, 2016). "is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on March 5, 2016.
  2. Alexey Nigin (June 3, 2017). Pattern of the Year 2016 (Results) (discussion thread) at the forums
  3. Dean Hickerson (6 March, 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?".
  4. Simon Ekström (March 20, 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on March 20, 2016.
  5. towerator (20 March 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on 30 June 2016.
  6. christoph.r (October 11, 2018). "Re: Thread for your unsure discoveries". Retrieved on November 30, 2018.
  7. AforAmpere (March 24, 2018). "Re: Spaceship Discussion Thread". Retrieved on August 30, 2018.
  8. Alexey Nigin (March 6, 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on March 6, 2016.
  9. gmc_nxtman (7 March, 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on 8 March, 2016.
  10. gmc_nxtman (July 9, 2017). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on July 9, 2017.
  11. 2718281828 (January 9, 2018). Re: Small Spaceship Syntheses (discussion thread) at the forums
  12. Apple Bottom (April 4, 2016). "Haul". Catagolue. Retrieved on April 4, 2016.
  13. Apple Bottom (April 4, 2016). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  14. zdr (6 March 2016). "Re: is this c/10 spaceship known?". Retrieved on 5 July 2016.
  15. Simon Ekström (March 6, 2016). Re: is this c/10 spaceship known? (discussion thread) at the forums

External links

  • 28P10H1V0.1 at Heinrich Koenig's Game of Life Object Catalogs