Is there a standard stationary object in the Universe?

25 April 2013

Question

Many astronomers any physicists talk about objects in the Universe travelling at nearly the speed of light, for example the gas jets leaving a quasar, the matter in an accretion disk circulating around a black hole or the matter travelling away from a supernova, but my question is what is this speed relative to? Is there a standard "stationary" object in the universe which all these examples relate to? Otherwise these statements are meaningless.

Thanks
Chris Martin
Mark, Somerset.

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