Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 84: Nov-Dec 1992

Issue Contents

Other pages











Galactic Shell Game

W.G. Tifft, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, has maintained for some two decades that the redshifts of the galaxies do not fall on a smooth curve as one would expect. Instead, Tifft asserts, redshifts are bunched at intervals of 72 kilometers/second and at onehalf and one-third that value. Mainstream astronomers insist that redshifts be interpreted as Doppler shifts due to the expanding universe. Quantized redshifts just don't fit into this view of the cosmos, for they imply concentric shells of galaxies expanding away from a central point -- earth!

Even though more recent redshift data have supported the notion of quantized redshifts, cosmologists find them undigestible, even pathogenic. But replication and non-replication are the essence of science, so B. Guthrie and W.M. Napier, at the Royal Observatory at Edinburgh, undertook another study. They selected 89 nearby spiral galaxies that had not been incorporated in any of the previous surveys. These galaxies had very accurately measured redshifts and were distributed all over the celestial sphere.

"As expected, the galaxies' redshifts showed a smooth distribution. Clearly, no quantization was being introduced by the radio telescopes or the data reduction process. But after Guthrie and Napier corrected each redshift to account for the Earth's motion around the center of the Milky Way -- a different correction for each location in the sky -- out popped a periodicity of 37 km/sec, close to one of Tifft's values. It was so strong that the chance of it being a statistical fluke was less than 1 in 3,000."

Tifft's work therefore seems to have been verified again. But Tifft is now waxing even more iconoclastic, claiming that galactic redshifts have actually changed slightly in just a few years!

(Anonymous; "Quantized Redshifts: What's Going on Here?" Sky and Telescope, 84:128, 1992.)

Comment. A strange geometrical concordance exists between quantized redshifts and the shells of stars surrounding some elliptical galaxies. See AWO5 in our catalog: Stars, Galaxies, Cosmos. This volume also contains much more on quantized redshifts in AWF8. Ordering information here.

From Science Frontiers #84, NOV-DEC 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss