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We were born out of mankind's unquenchable thirst;
Despite my name, I wasn't the first:
Because of a difference in trajectory
My "younger" twin was born 16 days before me.

We were recently joined by a guy with a towel
And our fictional brother lost all but one vowel.

Though more than hundredfold faster than a speeding bus,
You are actually right now catching up to both of us.

Who am I?

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Damn, I saw the title and assumed this would be a dupe of one of those old twin paradoxes that we've seen so many of. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 25 '18 at 12:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor That may or may not have been intentional :-) $\endgroup$ – Bass Mar 25 '18 at 12:02
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    $\begingroup$ I went to look up little boy and fat man atom bombs to see if they were dropped 16 days apart, ahaha. $\endgroup$ – Zebrafish Mar 25 '18 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ It is possible for real-life twins to be born 16 days apart (dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324858/…), but I don't think this is what you meant. $\endgroup$ – dan04 Mar 25 '18 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ I know an actual twin who really was born two weeks after his sister. $\endgroup$ – Simba Mar 26 '18 at 11:36
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You are

Voyager 1

Despite my name, I wasn't the first: Because of a difference in trajectory My "younger" twin was born 16 days before me.

Voyager 2 was launched on 1977-08-20, 16 days before Voyager 1 was launched on 1977-09-05.

We were recently joined by a guy with a towel

I assume this has something to do with Douglas Adams and HHGttG, but I can't figure it out right now.

And our fictional brother lost all but one vowel.

V'ger

Though more than hundredfold faster than a speeding bus,

The probes are travelling at approximately 35,000 MPH, indeed more than 100 times faster than a typical bus on the highway.

You are actually right now catching up to both of us.

Earth is moving too.

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    $\begingroup$ Ahh...I just realized that the guy with a towel is the Tesla Starman! $\endgroup$ – Amit Naidu Mar 25 '18 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ Earth isn't really 'catching up' up to the Voyager probes though, right? $\endgroup$ – NKCampbell Mar 26 '18 at 15:38
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    $\begingroup$ @NKCampbell at this particular time of year, it actually is! Of course, we’ll soon turn away from that direction, what with us running circles around the Sun and all, so in half a year, the probes will be receding extra fast. $\endgroup$ – Bass Mar 26 '18 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ I guess it's semantics - Earth isn't gaining on voyager in such a way that we will ever overtake it which is how I considered 'catching up' but point taken $\endgroup$ – NKCampbell Mar 26 '18 at 19:14
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Are you:

the radio waves originating from a neutron star kilonova, detected last year ?

On 17 August 2017, gravitational waves (LIGO/Virgo) and a short gamma ray burst (Fermi space telescope) were detected, but the radio waves (VLA, NRAO) didn't arrive until 16 days later. Perhaps the sGRB is your twin. They both travel fast, and were discovered due to the curiosity of mankind.

This is probably incorrect though, because I couldn't fit the Adamsian towel and the vowel.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would say that was a pretty nice guess :) $\endgroup$ – ABcDexter Mar 26 '18 at 18:40

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