Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 27: May-Jun 1983

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Anomalous redshifts (again)

For years Halton Arp has been searching the skies for anomalous astronomical objects. Among the many maverick items in his catalog are objects that seem physically related but have radically different redshifts. Examine for instance the illustration, which shows the large galaxy NGC 7603 (possessing a supposed recessional velocity of 8,700 km/sec) and its smaller companion at the end of the filament, which recedes at the much higher velocity of 16,900 km/sec. According to the Theory of the Expanding Universe, the greater the recessional velocity (as measured by the red or Doppler shift), the farther away the object is. But Arp's many examples of physically connected galaxies with wildly different redshifts suggest that some of the disparities in redshifts may actually be due to the related objects flying apart from each other. In the illustration, the small companion might have been "shot out" of its parent galaxy at high velocity by some unappreciated galactic gun.

(Arp, Halton C.; "Related Galaxies with Different Redshifts?" Sky and Telescope, 65:307, 1983.)

Comment. Left unsaid in Arp's article is the possibility that redshifts are not good measures of distance. If they are not, doubt is cast on the Theory of the Expanding Universe and the reality of the Big Bang itself. Some astronomers, according to news items in scientific publications, have heard enough about discordant redshifts and would rather see scarce telescope time used for other types of work!

Reference. Anomalous quasar redshifts are cataloged at AQF2 in Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos. For details on this book, visit: here.

Anomalous red shifts (Halton Arp)

From Science Frontiers #27, MAY-JUN 1983. 1983-2000 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