[ExI] discordant red shifts

Pat Fallon patrickfallon at gmail.com
Sun Apr 18 00:36:43 UTC 2010

Halton Arp has long maintained that quasars are not at the
cosmological distance implied by interpreting their red shift as
recessional velocity.

He has published many optical and X-ray examples of what he claims are
high red shift companians [many of them quasars] to lower red shift
galaxies. Since the accepted paradigm would be falsified by this
interpretation of his data, it is claimed that these examples are
"accidents" in that a very much more distant and higher red shifted
object just appears to be interacting with a closer lower red shifted

One of the examples Arp has been pointing out since the 1966
publication of his "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies" is the active Seyfert
Galaxy NGC 7603 and a much higher red shifted galaxy that appears to
be connected by a luminous bridge or filament of gas. The defenders of
the accepted paradigm dismissed this example [as they had all the
other examples published by Arp in his Atlas] as another "accident" of

However, in 2001 two Spanish astronomers got some good spectral data
on 2 star-like objects also seemingly embedded in the luminous
filiment bridge connecting NGC 7603 and the galaxy Arp claimed was its
companion. Both objects turned out to be quasars with much higher red
shifts than NGC 7603. So now it was claimed the apparent alignment of
these 4 objects, all with quite different red shifts, was still just
an accident of our perspective.

NGC 1313, a barred spiral galaxy in the southern sky near the Large
Magellanic Cloud, is sometimes referred to as the “Starburst” galaxy
because of the bright star-forming regions in the distorted, torn-up
structure of its arms. This galaxy also has seven fainter objects on
either side which seemed to be aligned along its spin axis. When their
red shifts were measured, these 7 objects were said to be quasars and
galaxies a great distance away from NGC 1313.

Arp proposed that a galaxy that is especially active, having distorted
arms and large star-forming regions such as this one, is apt to be in
the process of generating new quasars. One characteristic of quasars
is their strong x-ray emission, and within the bounds of NGC 1313 two
objects have been identified as ultra-luminous x-ray (ULX) sources.
Because these ULXs appear to be within their host galaxy, they cannot
be identified as quasars under standard theory: the high redshifts of
quasars require that they be great distances away. A number of ULXs
have been examined closely and have turned out to be quasars—which
then have been dismissed as “background objects” seen through “holes”
in the foreground galaxy.

Arp argues that most ULXs will turn out to be quasars that have been
generated recently by the host galaxy. Furthermore, the line of
higher-redshift objects extending through NGC 1313 corresponds with
the pattern of ejections from active galaxies that Halton Arp and his
colleagues have documented for over three decades: quasars distributed
along the spin axes of active galaxies, together with companion
galaxies that consistently have higher redshifts than the active
central galaxy.

After reading Arp's "Seeing Red"  I am persuaded by his many examples
that the counter-argument that all these discordant red shifts are
accidents of perspective is doomed. How often do you expect accidents
to happen?

Quasars would then be much closer, and not the monsters that are
necessary when they are said to be so far yet still visible.


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