Archive for the ‘Redshifts’ Category

UGC 892

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

UGC 892UGC 892 and its companion 2MASXI J0121174-003312 were first listed as Arp 67 in Dr. Halton Arp’s Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies published by Caltech in 1966.  Unbelievably, the best image I can find today is still the same photograph used by Dr. Arp that was taken by the Palomar Observatory’s  famous 200-inch Hale telescope back in 1966, as shown on the left.   I cropped the original image a little to fit it on the page but otherwise it is unaltered.  The reason I use the term “unbelievably” is that once again I find that decades have passed and I’m expected to believe that no large modern telescope has bothered to make another observation of what is potentially yet another example of discordant redshifts between two possibly connected objects.

This somewhat grainy image shows what appears to be a small companion object just southwest of the primary galaxy UGC 892.  The smaller object, 2MASXI J0121174-003312, appears to be disrupting  the darker of the two main arms of the larger galaxy making it seem to appear connected to the larger galaxy.  Of course the problem with this is that the objects’ redshifts indicate that they are supposedly at great distances from each other and therefore the smaller object could not possibly be affecting the larger one.    UGC 892’s redshift of 0.0175 z as listed on NED places it at a supposed distance of approximately 310 million light years from Earth using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.   The redshift of 2MASXI J0121174-003312 is listed on NED as 0.055 z which places it at supposedly three times the distance at approximately 967 million light years from Earth also using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.

UGC 892 JHK waveband compositeOne would think that such a discrepancy would garner a closer look by one of the several larger telescopes that have been built since the Hale in the past sixty years.  Yet the only other observations I could find of Arp 67 were even lower resolution images produced by one-meter range telescopes such as the UK Schmidt and the retired 50-inch telescope at Kitt Peak including a set of infrared images produced by the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) over a decade ago and listed under the name 2MASX J01211663-0032402.  A composite of the three infrared waveband images taken by 2MASS is show on the right.

Even in this fuzzy image and in the others mentioned  a tenuous connection between the parent and companion objects is visible.  Hopefully one day more higher resolution images of these objects will be made available from the powerful telescopes at our disposal and a literally more clearer picture of the situation will emerge even if it does conflict with current cosmological theories.  As usual I will continue to pursue new data and report any new findings as they are published.  And as always, I encourage all visitors to this site to pursue their own observations and feel free to contribute to those posted here or even submit new ones.

Thanks for reading!


ULAS J1120+0641

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Until now I have only posted examples of close and physically connected objects that display greatly discordant redshifts.  But I thought it appropriate that my tenth post be of a single newly discovered object whose redshift puts it in great discord with currently accepted astrophysics and even the Big Bang Theory.

The science journal Nature recently reported that late last year a group of astronomers discovered what they claim to be is the most distant quasar known in the Universe so far.  The quasar, designated ULAS J1120+0641, has a redshift of 7.085 z which reportedly places it at a distance of 12.9 billion light years away!

Objects with extremely high redshifts have their light strongly shifted into the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.  That is why the astronomy team searched through the 20 million objects catalogued by the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey (ULAS) to find this needle in a haystack, or in the case of the following image, the tiny red dot in the center:

ULAS J1120+0641 (Credit:ESO/UKIDSS/SDSS)

The redshift of ULAS J1120+0641 was measured with the FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph (FORS2) on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) and Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS).  That its redshift could be measured at all is something of a minor miracle considering the supposed distance of the quasar.  If an object really is located almost 13 billion light years away it would have to be exceptionally bright for enough of its light to reach us to allow for the analysis of its spectrum.  Apparently the team of astronomers thought the same thing because they reported that the brightness of the object is 63 trillion times that of our sun!  That is so bright that if this object were located at the distance of Alpha Centauri (4.37 ly) it would still appear over 800 times brighter than our sun!  This is an absolutely incredible amount of light when you consider Alpha Centauri is located over 276,000 times further away from us than our sun.  What could possibly generate the energy required to power such an unimaginably bright object?  The answer, according to the scientists, is a supermassive black hole with a mass equal to 2 billion of our suns.  If volume were equal to mass that many suns would take up every cubic inch of our solar system from the center to out beyond the orbit of Jupiter!  Of course any object that massive and emitting that much light must also project a tremendous radiation field.  In this case the astronomy team predicts an ionized near zone radius of 6.2 million light years.  That is almost two and a half times the distance between the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies!

All of these truly astronomical numbers are dazzling in their scope and imagination.  They describe a quasar whose very existence really is almost beyond the scope of our physics and the comprehension of our minds.  But they also describe an object that cannot exist according to the currently accepted version of the Big Bang Theory.

This image was downloaded and resized from the Wikipedia article for “Reionization”.  I find the sentence at the bottom very telling.

According to the accepted interpretation of the redshift of ULAS J1120+0641 this quasar existed just 770 million years after the Big Bang.  This is during a period called the Epoch of Reionization which supposedly occurred between 150 million and one billion years after the Big Bang.  It is theorized that early in this period the first stars and quasars were formed. These were followed by the formation of galaxies starting approximately 500 million years after the Big Bang. However, 770 million years is not enough time for the formation of a supermassive black hole with a mass of 2 billion suns according to the Eddington Limit.

An enormously powerful quasar may make for intriguing headlines, but there are no accepted physics that can account for the existence of such an object.  The astronomy team and the scientific community in general were quite surprised at these results and continue to struggle for an answer that will explain the formation of an object, over 12 million times brighter than a Type Ia supernova, so early in the formation of the universe.

The first thing that scientists should do is step back and question the wisdom of unblinkingly accepting redshifts as measurements of distance and cosmic expansion.  It is this blind acceptance that has forced them to resort to creating such exotic objects as ULAS J1120+0641 in order to try to continue to make sense of the Big Bang Theory.  But instead they will probably just do something like change the Eddington Limit, just as they have changed the Hubble Constant over the years to suit their needs.

Eventually though objects will be found with redshifts so high that scientists will no longer be able to explain away their non-cosmological origins.  One way or the other they are going to have to change the way they view the universe.  In the meantime I will continue to post the latest discoveries, and discordancies, and continue to welcome and encourage your input…as always.

Thanks for reading #10!


Abell 1656

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

I have already posted one example of a cluster of morphologically similar galaxies arranged in a distinct spiral shaped pattern.    These Abell clusters are typically grouped around a large elliptical galaxy and turned at an angle in relation to the observer.  Abell 1656 exhibits this same super spiral structure in spite of the fact that many of the small compact galaxies in this cluster appear to be separated by great distances, according to their redshifts.   The following image was exported from version 2.76c of Patrick Chevalley’s sky chart program Cartes Du Ciel.  The photograph is from the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) first Digitized Sky Survey (DSS-1) overlaid with object outlines generated from the Principal Galaxies Catalog (PGC).

Abell 1656

In the image are a large number of the aforementioned compact spiral galaxies extending outward from the elliptical galaxy NGC 4874 in three or more curved spiral arms.   The image below, also exported from Cartes Du Ciel, is a close-up of one of these spiral arms.  This photograph is from the ESO’s second Digitized Sky Survey (DSS-2) red channel while the object outlines are again generated from the PGC.  In this image I have labeled in yellow the redshifts (z) for all the objects in the spiral arm including the center elliptical galaxy.

Abell 1656 detail

Most of these redshifts might seem to fall within a very narrow range of values.  However when they are converted to distances it becomes obvious that the measurements vary significantly for such a tightly grouped set of objects.  The smallest redshift value belongs to NGC 4867 at 0.015964 z.  This places the galaxy at a supposed distance of over 282 million light years away when the redshift is converted to distance using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.  The highest redshift value belongs to PGC 1822726 which supposedly places it much further away at a distance of over 454 million light years using the same conversion method.

So here we have a group of small compact spiral galaxies packed so close together in a spiral arm configuration that a few of them appear to be almost touching; yet their redshifts indicate a maximum separation of over 171 million light years when viewed from Earth.  There is also a galaxy in this spiral arm that appears to be the same size and shape as a couple of the other smaller galaxies in the arm but with a redshift of 0.158441 z.  This value, which I’ve marked in red, supposedly places this galaxy at an incredible distance of over 2.7 billion light years away! This galaxy also shares the exact same morphology with several similarly sized galaxies in the other arms of the super spiral and yet is supposedly located almost ten times further away!

Once again scientists are faced with a big question:  How can multiple objects be arranged in such tightly defined spiral shapes yet be separated from one another by such vast distances and only along one axis?   And once again scientists can try to dismiss the findings as coincidence or dismiss the question altogether.  But the evidence that extragalactic redshifts do not accurately represent distances and an associated expansion of the Universe will still continue to mount.  I will of course continue to post examples of super spiral groups in this Report and I will continue to draw attention to the evidence.  Questions and comments about any of these examples or the evidence are welcomed as always.


Einstein Cross

Monday, February 28th, 2011

ZW 2237+030This image from the European Southern Observatory is of the Einstein Cross, a name given to a group of four high redshift quasars (Q2237+030 or QSO 2237+0305) framing the nucleus of the galaxy ZW 2237+030 (QSO 2237+0305 G) also known as Huchra’s Lens located in the constellation Pegasus. The redshift of the nucleus of this spiral galaxy has been measured at 0.0394 z which would place it at a supposed distance of a little over 500 million light-years from Earth using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 75 (km/s)/Mpc. The four quasars all display the same redshift of 1.695 z which would supposedly place them over 20 times further away at a distance of over 10.6 billion light-years.

However a problem arises when closely examining the galactic nucleus and the four objects that surround it.

Einstein Cross I have taken a close-up image of the Einstein Cross from the ESO site and modified its color palette to produce a false color image as shown at the lower right. To product this image I simply opened the original in Adobe Photoshop, chose Image from the menu bar then Adjustments > Gradient Map… and set the color gradient to one of the preset options available. Changing the color gradient has not modified the pixel positions of the original photograph but has set their assigned colors to a smaller and more visible range according to their brightness. Though faint when viewed in the original grayscale image,  in the new color palette connections between the quasars and galactic nucleus are clearly visible. In fact, despite their discordant redshifts, the streaming bridges of material between the objects and the nucleus are undeniable.

Einstein Cross in false colorOf course, this undeniable proof has not led the scientific community to reexamine their current interpretation of extragalactic redshifts or their adamant belief in the Big Bang Theory. Instead, the existence of the Einstein Cross has been attributed to, of all things, gravitational lensing.  But this is a weak explanation at best. There is no valid scientific explanation given as to how a strong gravitational field would bend the light of a directly aligned background object into precisely four point objects.  The majority of theories and models of gravitational lensing actually predict a ring effect as the result of the bending of light around a strong source of gravity. In fact there are several gravitational lensing simulations available on the Web that visually demonstrate this effect. However I have yet to find one that simulates the effect supposedly displayed in the Einstein Cross.

Theories, models and simulations can indeed be helpful tools but nothing can match pure scientific observation.  There are many examples of gravitational lenses that have been recorded by various observatories and almost all of them are in the shape of rings or arcs. The following image is a small collection of such “Einstein Rings” as observed by the Hubble Space Telescope and made available from the HubbleSite.

Einstein Rings

It may seem extremely coincidental that four quasars with such exact matching redshifts have been observed in such close proximity to one another, particularly with several visibly connected to, and possibly even emerging from, the nucleus of a central galaxy.  However this does not excuse the dismissal of the observations by attempting to apply a misappropriated and improvable theory to them.  At the very least continued and improved observations of these objects, as well as all discordant redshift objects, need to be made.  Only then will we finally move past the theories and hopefully embrace the facts.


tetrahedral symmetryUPDATE:  As suggested in the comment below by one of my readers, D R Lunsford, the positions of the objects in the Einstein Cross display tetrahedral symmetry.  An excellent example of this symmetry are the four hydrogen atoms surrounding the carbon atom in a molecule of methane.

The image on the left is the molecular structure of methane generated by a Java applet and rotated to perfectly match the positions of the quasars and central core of the Einstein Cross as also suggested in this reader’s comment.  For more information on tetrahedral symmetry as it applies to compact quadruple quasar systems please see my example PG1115+80.

Thanks for the visual aid DRL and thanks again for reading!


Stephan’s Quintet

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

I have long pondered whether to ever post the following example.  It is possibly the single best example of visibly connected extragalactic objects with discordant redshifts in existence today.  The physical connection between the objects is so plainly visible and their associated redshifts so disparate that one would think I would not hesitate to feature them on this website.   Ironically, despite the overwhelmingly visible proof the following images provide, they also serve as stark reminders of just how stubborn and incredibly biased the current scientific community is in regards to discordant redshifts or any evidence that might throw the Big Bang Theory into question.

Stephan's Quintet

Stephan’s Quintet, also known as Hickson 92 and Arp 319, was discovered by Édouard Stephan in 1877 at Marseille Observatory located near Marseille, France.   As the name suggests, the Quintet is comprised of five objects, each one a galaxy, as shown in the above Hubble Space Telescope image.  They appear in close proximity to one another in the first compact galaxy cluster ever observed.  Four of the galaxies share the same yellow color and center morphology including very similar redshifts that supposedly place them at very similar distances (using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc) as follows, viewed from left to right:

Redshift (z) Distance (Mly)
NGC 7319 0.022507 398.1
NGC 7318B 0.019260 340.9
NGC 7318A 0.022115 391.2
NGC 7317 0.022012 389.4

The fifth galaxy, NGC 7320, with a distinctive bluish color and spiral morphology is clearly interacting with NGC 7318A and B.  Streamers of stars and gas from NGC 7320 are entrailed within their intertwined arms while long filaments spread outward and mix with the broad arms of NGC 7319.  Everyone, including astronomers and cosmologists alike, would be in absolute agreement with this observation if not for the peculiar fact that the redshift of NGC 7320 is only 0.002622 z.  This places it at a mere 46.6 million light years away or less than an eighth of the average distance of 380 million light years (Mly) for the other four galaxies according to the distance/acceleration interpretation of redshifts.  Yet despite its discordant redshift and apparent extreme separation, the interaction of NGC 7320 with its companions has been well observed in multiple wavelengths:

This mixed infrared-optical wavelength image shows unusually hot hydrogen gas as green streamers of H-alpha emissions connecting the arms of NGC 7318A and B with the galaxies NGC 7319 and 7320.  The original full size image is available from the Spitzer Space Telescope site where the accompanying article describes the discordant NGC 7320 as “the large spiral at the bottom left of the image” that is a “foreground object and is not associated with the cluster”. Stephan's Quintet infrared-optical
This mixed x-ray-optical image shows the same hot hydrogen as light blue streamers connecting the same four galaxies and possibly even the fifth, NGC 7317.  The original image and its individual layers are available at the Chandra X-Ray Observatory website where once again the connection with discordant NGC 7320 is flatly denied. The article on the main object page describes NGC 7320 as a “prominent foreground galaxy” that is “not a member of the group”. Stephan's Quintet x-ray-optical

These well-documented observations should be accepted as definitive proof that redshifts are not indicative of distance.  Instead they are once again explained away as mere coincidence or otherwise ignored completely.   When I have considered posting Stephan’s Quintet in the past I have hesitated because I feared it would serve to demotivate me in the fight to get the truth out to the public.  If the scientific community will deny even this example what hope is there to ever convince anyone to accept a different interpretation of redshift measurements?  Surprisingly, while preparing this article, I found myself inspired by the fact that the included observations and measurements are at least out there and available for anyone to see.  The evidence does really exist, it is not too difficult to obtain, and many times it is very plain to see its implications.  I also found inspiration in the recent encouragement I received from some of the readers of this site.  Thank you all again for your support.

So I will continue to post, and continue to hope that one day we will move past the current Ptolemaic-like view of the Universe and move towards solving its real mysteries!  I will also continue to encourage all visitors to this site to pursue their own observations and please feel free to contribute any examples to the cause.