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No. 34: Jul-Aug 1984

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A Gathering Of Quasars

The universe is supposed to be approximately uniform in all directions -- the evenly distributed smoke from the Big Bang. Halton Arp, an energetic opponent of the standard cosmological view, points out that quasars are socializing in disgracefully large numbers in one region of the sky. In the direction of the so-called Local Cluster of galaxies, between redshifts 1.2-2.5, there are roughly four times as many quasars per unit volume as in the other parts of the sky. This unexpected clumping of quasars affects a region 1,3000 million light years in diameter and 4.875 million light years deep, a rather substantial chunk of the cosmos. Arp's discovery places astronomy in a no-win situation. Either the distribution of quasars is too clumpy for current theory or the redshift/distance law is wrong. Neither situation makes astronomers very happy.

(Anonymous; "Quasars and Quasi Quasars," New Scientist, p. 20, May 17, 1984.)

From Science Frontiers #34, JUL-AUG 1984. 1984-2000 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