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No. 1: September 1977

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Four Extragalactic Sources Expand Faster Than Light

Three quasars and one galaxy possess structures that apparently expand faster than light. The sizes of the three qua sars were measured over periods of time by Very Long Baseline Interferometers (VLBIs). In the case of quasar 3C279, the apparent velocity of expansion was ten times that of light. The quasars all have rather large redshifts, indicating great distances from earth, but the lone galaxy displaying "superluminal" expansion has a redshift of only 0.032. This fact suggests that superluminal velocities cannot be employed as arguments against redshifts being cosmological; that is, measures of distances from earth. Therefore, if the redshift is truly a measure of distance (as it seems to be), some astronomical structures (perhaps not matter itself) seem to grow faster than the velocity of light.

(Cohen, M.H., et al; "Radio Sources with Superluminal Velocities," Nature, 268:405, 1977.)

From Science Frontiers #1, September 1977. 1977-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987