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No. 39: May-Jun 1985

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Hold everything: it may be a nonproblem

Newtonian gravitation may not have to be tampered with, as described above. Galaxies may not need "missing mass" to stabilize them after all. B. Byrd and M. Valtonen estimate that many clusters of galaxies are really flying apart.

"Clusters of galaxies can eject members by a gravitational slingshot process, with one galaxy after another being accelerated through the dense centre of the cluster and fired out into the Universe at large. If this happens, the ejected galaxies are moving at more than the escape velocity from the system, so estimates of the total mass in the system based on the assumption that all the galaxies are in bound orbits will be incorrect"
(Anonymous; "Expanding Clusters Confuse Astronomers," New Scientist, p. 13, March 2l, 1985.)

Comment. In previous entries, we have seen jets of stars being squirted into space, immense shells of stars being ejected by elliptical galaxies, and other cosmic sowings of astronomical systems. Now, entire galactic clusters are being thrown around the universe. This hard-ly seems a universe that is "running down," as the Laws of Thermodynamics would have us believe. Somebody or something is stirring the pot -- a pot in which biological systems and perhaps super-biological systems are ingredients in the stew.

From Science Frontiers #39, MAY-JUN 1985. 1985-2000 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