Aug 02, 2007
If redshift is the
effect of an expanding universe, it must be related to
distance. Yet three galaxies with very different redshifts
are the same distance from Earth.
Halton Arp studied this galaxy, NGC 1232, in 1982. He called
it "one of those rare and thrilling moments when you can
look down a long corridor into the future." What he saw was
three galaxies with three very different redshifts. The
primary galaxy has a redshift of z = .005. Its first
companion (left side of photo) has a redshift of z = .021.
The tiny companion on the upper arm has a redshift of z =
Arp was sure
that these three galaxies are next-door neighbors. The small
galaxy on the left is the archetypal "companion galaxy," not
the type observed as an independent galaxy. Its star-forming
regions and gas clouds are similar in scale to those of the
large galaxy, and the influence of the small galaxy can be
traced in disturbances along the larger galaxy's arms.
Arp's Catalogue of Discordant Redshift Associations presents
similar in-depth documentation that the tiny knot on the
upper arm is also a galaxy connected to NGC 1232.
Why were these
observations so thrilling? They directly contradict the
assumption upon which big bang cosmology is based. Because
redshift is interpreted as an effect of the expansion of the
universe, it must be related to distance. Yet here are three
galaxies with very different redshifts that are at the same
community responded by dismissing his evidence and taking
away his telescope time. But in the years since he made
these observations, Arp has added hundreds of similar
discordant associations to his collection. These
associations will change our view of the distribution of
galaxies, their ages, and the size of the "known" universe.
And that will require a new theory of cosmology.
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