Archive for the ‘Redshifts’ Category

AM 2052-221

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Another “lesser known” example of discordant redshifts from the southern hemisphere is AM 2052-221 which is also listed in Dr. Halton Arp’s and Barry Madore’s A Catalogue of Southern Peculiar Galaxies and Associations (Cambridge University Press, 1987).  It is also listed as AM 2054-2210 in Dr. Arp’s book Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies (Interstellar Media, 1987) and his articles published in Volume 236 and Volume 239 of the The Astrophysical Journal in 1980 and in a 1981 supplement.  Again, as with NGC 1347, the best image I could find for this pair of objects is a photograph taken with the 48-inch UK Schmidt Telescope in New South Wales, Australia sometime in the 1970’s.  I have cropped the original image a bit in order to fit it on this page but it is otherwise unaltered.

As with many of the Schmidt Telescope photographs of the time the image quality is somewhat grainy.  However, it can be clearly seen that the smaller of the two objects is trailing a stream of material that curves back toward the larger object possibly connecting to it within the diffused arm on the larger object’s north side.  But this begs the same question as with NGC 1347.  If they are physically connected how can their measured redshifts be so incredibly discordant?  AM 2052-221NED lists the redshift of the larger galaxy at 0.034377 z which would place its distance at over 595 million light-years from Earth using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.  The smaller object is listed as having a redshift of 0.156215 z.  This indicates a supposed distance of almost 2.488 billion light-years from Earth.  This is over 4 times the distance of the larger object!

Because of the poor quality of the photographs available today one could argue that there is no clear connection between AM 2052-221 and its companion object.  But if there is a connection, the implications in regards to the assumed meaning of extragalactic redshifts and their supposed relationship to the Big Bang Theory is so great that one would think that better observations would have been made by now.  Yet, as with NGC 1347, the best image I could find came from observations made over thirty years ago from a telescope less than a quarter of the size of those available today.  Once again I was unable to find any images of from any modern large telescope that covers the southern hemisphere including the SALT, the Gemini South or even the HST.  In the little time I have had to research procuring observational data from some of the world’s largest telescopes I have learned that it is an extremely tedious and arduous process that is obviously not geared toward the casual astronomer.  However I will continue to pursue new data and I will report any new findings.  I still believe the powerful optics of these telescopes could one day help finally bring to light the true connection between extragalactic objects and the true meaning of their discordant redshifts.

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!

Shannon

3C 279 and 3C 273

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Examples of physical connections between objects with discordant redshifts are not limited to the optical portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.  There are many examples of connections that are detectable in other wavelengths such as radio waves and x-rays.   Seemingly vast bridges of material have even been detected in the highly energetic gamma ray end of the spectrum.   One such connection was detected by the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) onboard the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory operated by NASA in Earth orbit from 1991 to 2000. The highly energized bridge of material observed by the telescope encompasses and appears to connect a group of quasars with very varied redshifts.  The two most well known and active members of this group are the quasars 3C 273 and 3C 279 of the Third Cambridge Catalog of Radio Sources.

EGRET Isophote ContoursDr. Halton Arp describes this discordant pair of objects in detail in his book Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science (Apeiron, 1998) and includes a hand reproduced figure of isophote contour lines generated from EGRET observations.   An isophote is a line on a diagram or image of a celestial object joining points of equal brightness.  I was able to recreate these contour lines in even more detail using the free Aladin interactive sky atlas software developed by the Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg.   The image on the left is a direct export from this software and includes the contour lines from the EGRET observations overlaid with numbered object markers from the Cambridge Catalog.  In this image it can be clearly seen that a bridge of material emitting gamma rays envelopes and connects the quasars 3C 273 and 3C 279 and even continues south to end almost directly on 3C 278.  The quasar 3C 275 also appears almost directly aligned within the bridge’s path between 3C 279 and 273.  One would think that such an obvious connection between objects as displayed here would be widely accepted by modern astronomers and astrophysicists.  Unfortunately that is not at all the case and these observations stirred up quite a controversy within the scientific community when they were released.  To understand the source of this controversy we must of course first begin with the redshift measurements of these four objects.

Quasar 3C 279 is one of the brightest gamma ray objects in the sky.  And with a redshift of .536 z as listed in NED it is assumed to be quite distant at almost 6.9 billion light-years away using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.  However, accepting such a distance would make this object one of the most energetic and powerful radiation emitters in the known Universe by many orders of magnitude.

3C 273 is the first celestial object ever identified as a quasar.  It is also assumed to be one of the closest to Earth with a redshift of .158 z which supposedly places it at a distance of 2.5 billion light-years when using the same Hubble Constant.  3C 273 is the brightest quasar in the night sky with an apparent magnitude of 12.9 which makes it visible to even amateur astronomers’ telescopes.   At its accepted distance this brightness equates to an absolute magnitude of 26.7 which also makes this quasar one of the most luminous in the known Universe.

The radio source 3C 278 is associated with the galaxy NGC 4782 and its companion NGC 4783.  NGC 4782 is the host of 3C 278 and has a redshift of .013 z which gives it an assumed distance of 234 million light-years.   NGC 4783 is the northern galaxy in most images of the pair and has a redshift of .154 z which would place it 270 million light-years distant.  However both objects are themselves connected by a bridge of material and appear less than 40 arcseconds apart.

Quasar 3C 275 has a large redshift of .480 z which presumably puts it at a distance of 6.3 billion light-years away.  Again, as with all the aforementioned 3C radio sources, distances were calculated using a Hubble’s “Constant” of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.

How can such widely separated objects be bridged with such a highly energetic field of material on such an enormous scale?  According to their accepted distances 3C 279 and 273 alone are roughly 1 billion light-years apart in the sky and over 4 1/2 billion light-years apart in distance from Earth.   There are over 6 billion light-years separating the closest objects from the furthest objects in this group.   There is no real conceivable way such a body of mass and energy could exist in the Universe unless it was actually much closer to us than had previously been assumed.  Greatly reducing the actual distances to these bright radio sources also resolves a very surprising discovery made when observing the cores of the two brightest objects, 3C 279 and 273 using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and other radio telescopes.

3C 279 Superluminal JetJets of material have long been observed being ejected from the cores of these two quasars.  But prolonged observation and analysis using radio telescopes have revealed that these jets appear to be ejecting material at several times the speed of light!  The image to the right was provided courtesy of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory / Associated Universities, Inc. (NRAO/AUI) which operates the VLBA and other radio telescopes.   It is a time-lapsed mosaic of 3C 279 and a stream of material that has been ejected from its core.  As indicated by the markings along the axis the bright blob of material at the end of the stream traveled roughly 25 light-years over a period of only 7 years.  This would place the velocity of the stream at approximately 3.6 times the speed of light!  There have even been jets of material observed in 3C 273 that appear to be traveling at almost ten times the speed of light!  How can this be possible when the speed of light cannot be broken?  The latest and most accepted explanation proffered by scientists is that these superluminal velocities are merely optical illusions.  These illusions are supposedly generated by relativistic effects caused by the jets traveling very close to the speed of light and at very small angles to the line-of-sight of the observer.  However, the length and collimated nature of the jets preclude the possibility that we just happen to be observing both quasars with their jets pointed almost directly at us.  Therefore relativistic effects, if they even do exist, would not be the cause of these observations.

This leaves only two other possibilities.  Either the laws of physics have been broken and the speed of light has been exceeded by several-fold, or the quasars simply aren’t as far away as most astronomers believe them to be.   The latter possibility is at least testable using simple mathematics.  For example, if 3C 279 was actually located less than 2 billion light-years from Earth, instead of the almost 7 billion as generally believed, the superluminal velocities of its jet would be reduced to subluminal speeds due to reduction in scale.  Similarly, reducing the distances for all of the aforementioned quasars greatly reduces the overall expected scale of the surrounding gamma ray bridge and required power output of the encompassed quasars.  But changing the accepted distances calls into question the accuracy of distance measurements based on redshifts believed to be caused by universal expansion.   And of course calling universal expansion into question calls the Big Bang Theory into question, and thus the controversy.

Discordant redshifts breed discord by providing all of us an opportunity to question long established scientific theories that may be based on incorrect assumptions. Do you have questions or comments about this example or do you have an example you would like to contribute? Your input is not only welcomed, it is encouraged.

Shannon

Abell 193

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Redshift discordancies are often more subtle and appear in much larger groups than the examples I have shown so far.  A good example of this occurrence is in the galaxy cluster Abell 0193.  The following image was exported from an excellent sky chart program written by Patrick Chevalley called Cartes Du Ciel.  I prefer to use version 2.76c although a newer version can also be downloaded here.  The photograph is from the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) first Digitized Sky Survey (DSS-1) overlaid with object outlines generated from the latest Principal Galaxies Catalog (PGC).

Abell 193

This image shows a number of small morphologically similar spiral galaxies surrounding a larger elliptical galaxy (PGC 5245/IC 1695) in a very obvious spiral pattern which I call a “super spiral”.  This super spiral structure appears to be comprised of three or more arms and is turned slightly at an angle in relation to the observer.

The image below was also exported from Cartes Du Ciel and was cropped to fit on this page.  This time the 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 and included the redshifts (z) for all the objects in one of the spiral arms including the center elliptical galaxy.

Abell 193 detailAt first glance the redshift values do not appear to vary greatly from one another and seem to fall within a narrow range.  However, when these values are converted to distances it immediately becomes apparent that there is something very wrong with the measurements.  The most distant object among those labeled measures over 1.026 billion light years away when its redshift is converted using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.  The closest object measures over 731 million light years away when performing the same conversion.   This represents a maximum separation among all of the objects of over 295 million light years with most of the objects being separated from one another by distances of tens and even hundreds of millions of light years.  However, it is highly unlikely that these objects are separated by such vast distances while still being clearly lined up to form one of the many spiral arms of this large galactic cluster.   There is simply no known mechanism in the Universe that can account for such a widely dispersed string of galaxies, not even “dark matter” or “dark energy”.

If this was the only known example of a super spiral formation in the observed Universe it could be argued that perhaps the shape of this cluster is simply coincidental.  However there are several examples of Abell clusters that are super spirals and I will be posting these in the future.  So if one accepts the fact that these galaxies are indeed bound into spiral shapes the only logical explanation for their discordant redshifts and associated distances is that extragalactic redshifts do not accurately represent distances and an associated expansion of the Universe.

Do you have questions or comments about this example or do you have an example you would like to contribute? Your input is not only welcomed, it is encouraged.

Shannon

Do you have questions or comments about this example or do you have an example you would like to contribute?  Your input is not only welcomed, it is encouraged, but I do ask that if you decide to comment to please demonstrate civility.  Remember, true scientists look for answers, even if the answers can sometimes go against our preconceptions.UPDATE: You are no longer required to register to post commments.  However I do require that you leave a name and email address so I can contact you if for some reason I cannot post your comments.

NGC 1347

Friday, January 1st, 2010

The following is a “lesser known” example of discordant redshifts from the southern hemisphere that is known by many names. NGC 1347 was first listed as Arp 39 in Dr. Halton Arp’s Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies published by Caltech in 1966.  It is listed in his and Barry Madore’s A Catalogue of Southern Peculiar Galaxies and Associations (Cambridge University Press, 1987) as AM 0327-222.  But it is also listed as AM 0328-222 in Dr. Arp’s book Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies (Interstellar Media, 1987) and his article published in Volume 263 of the The Astrophysical Journal in 1982.  The following is the best image I could find for this pair of objects.  It is a photograph taken with the 48-inch UK Schmidt Telescope in New South Wales, Australia sometime in the 1970’s.  I have cropped the original image a bit in order to fit it on this page but it is otherwise unaltered.

NGC 1347Although the photograph is somewhat grainy it is quite apparent that there is a smaller galaxy immediately adjacent to the main galaxy at its southern end.  It also appears quite possible that these two objects are physically connected.  However, if they are physically connected then how to account for their vastly discordant redshifts?  The redshift of the larger galaxy at 0.00587 z would place its distance at approximately 104 million light-years from Earth using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.  And although NED does not list a redshift value for the smaller object, Dr. Arp measured it to be over 0.068 z which would indicate a supposed distance of over 1.15 billion light-years from Earth.  This is over 11 times the distance of the larger object.   A physical connection notwithstanding, if the smaller galaxy were to be viewed at the same distance as the larger galaxy it would appear over 3 times the size of the larger galaxy.  This would make it the largest galaxy ever observed for its type in the known Universe!  Obviously these measurements highlight some serious discreprencies and further observations of these objects need to be made.

The mission of the Discordancy Report is to show examples of redshift discordancies and present an opportunity to critically analyze the observations while also nurturing an interest to perform further observations.  NGC 1347 is a perfect example of an object that clearly questions the assumption that extragalactic redshifts are indicative of distance and the result of the expansion of the Universe since the “Big Bang”.  Yet, the best image I could find came from observations made over thirty years ago from a telescope less than a quarter of the size of those available today.  I was unable to find any images of NGC 1347 from any modern large telescope that covers the southern hemisphere including the SALT, the Gemini South or even the HST.  I will continue to pursue observational data from these and other large telescopes as their powerful optics could one day help finally bring to light the true connection between extragalactic objects and the true meaning of their discordant redshifts.

I encourage all visitors to this site to pursue their own observations and please feel free to contribute to the ones I present here and even submit your own.

Thanks for reading!

Shannon

NGC 7603 and NGC 7603B

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

NGC 7603 and 7603B opticalThe Seyfert galaxy NGC 7603 and its companion NGC 7603B (PGC 07041) was a close contender for my first post of discordant redshift examples.  Ultimately NGC 4319 and Markarian 205 won out because it not only showed a visible connection between two discordant redshift objects but it represents a perfect example of denial and possibly even suppression by NASA and the scientific community.  NGC 7603 and 7603B is actually a better example of connected discordant redshift objects.  But the connection is so overwhelming obvious there can be no real denial or suppression of its existence.  The photograph to the right shows the larger galaxy NGC 7603 clearly connected to its smaller companion galaxy NGC 7603B via a curved bridge of matter.  The photograph is unaltered as downloaded from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey SkyServer website.  The redshifts of the two objects have been known for some time and are discussed in Dr. Halton Arp’s books Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies (Interstellar Media, 1987) and Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science (Apeiron, 1998).  In fact, this group of objects was included as Arp 92 in Dr. Arp’s Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies published by Caltech in 1966.  The redshift of the spectrum of NGC 7603 as listed in NED is 0.029524 z which would place it at a distance of over 500 million light-years from Earth using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.   However the redshift of NGC 7603B as listed in NED is 0.055742 z which would supposedly place it at almost twice that distance at over 950 million light years from Earth.  It is unequivocal that the redshifts of these two visibly connected objects do not indicate distance unless one wants to entertain the notion that the bridge of connecting matter is over 450 million light-years in length.

Upon closer inspection of the above photograph two smaller points of light can be seen embedded within the connecting bridge of matter between the two galaxies, one near each end of the bridge.  The SkyServer site describes these objects as stars but close examination of their spectra and the spectra of the bridge itself reveals something much more intriguing.  On June 13, 2000 astronomers Martin López-Corredoira and Carlos M. NGC 7603 and 7603B R-bandGutiérrez took a detailed R-band (near infrared) photograph of NGC 7603 and NGC 7603B using the 2.6 meter Nordic Optical Telescope on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands.  They then followed up with a detailed spectroscopic analysis of the bridge of matter and embedded point objects on August 12, 2001.  The image on the left is taken from their report in Astronomy & Astrophysics and has been unaltered accept for a size reduction to better fit it on this page.

The top half of the image shows a 15-minute exposure of NGC 7603 and NGC 7603B (Object 1) in near infrared light (0.7-1.0 µm) and their redshifts which, including their range of deviation, closely match the measurements listed in NED for the two objects.  Of course the most important discovery in their observations was that the two star-like objects were indeed quasars with high redshifts of 0.243 z and 0.391 z.  If redshifts really did indicate distance this would place Object 2 at over 3.6 billion light-years from Earth and Object 3 at over 5.4 billion light-years respectively using a so-called Hubble Constant value of 55 (km/s)/Mpc.

The bottom half of the image shows a close-up of the bridge of matter, referred to as “filament” in the A&A report.  The dotted lines indicate the 5 arcsecond-wide slit in the spectrograph where the spectra of all three objects including sections of the filament itself were taken.   As can be seen, the redshift of the filament almost exactly matches the redshift of NGC 7603 which clearly demonstrates that the bridge of connecting matter is part of that galaxy.  But most importantly this detailed view shows that regardless of the extreme distances attributed to Objects 2 and 3 because of their redshifts they are indeed embedded in the filament of matter connecting NGC 7603 and Object 1 (NGC 7603B).  In fact, this detailed view shows a bulge of material extending from the right side of NGC 7603B into the connecting filament and ending at the left edge of Object 2.  There is also clearly a stream of material extending out from the bottom of NGC 7603 into the filament and ending at the right edge of Object 3.

You would think that the discovery of such an obvious group of vastly discordant redshifts would have garnered some sort of response from the mainstream scientific community, whether positive or negative.  But unless you count the rejection of the findings by Nature and the Astrophysical Journal, there has been mostly silence.  So far these observations by López-Corredoira and Gutiérrez have not been referenced in any mainstream science journals or publications, particularly by astronomers in the United States.  It is very fortunate that their findings were published at all.  All scientists and lovers of science should be thankful that the European Astronomy and Astrophysics Journal had the courage to do so, albeit with some help from an “anonymous” referee.

For more information regarding the NGC 7603 system and its history of rejection by the scientific community I recommend reading the works of Halton Arp mentioned above and the introduction to Jeff Kanipe and Dennis Webb’s book The Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies (Willmann-Bell, 2006).  Do you have questions or comments about this example?  Do you have an example you would like to contribute?  Your input is not only welcomed, it is encouraged.

Thanks for reading!

Shannon