A team of astronomers using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey observed quasars behaving in manner that completely upends conventional theory. Using images from the Pan-STARRS survey, the scientists identified 1000 objects that appeared to vary in brightness over a period of just 10 years. Among these objects were a total of five galaxies that the team witnessed shape-shifting into quasars in a seemingly impossibly short period of time. The team also recorded a total of a dozen quasars “shutting down” in a period of hundreds of days, rather than the hundreds of thousands of years required by standard theory.
In the first of a series of Space News about this discovery, Dr. Tom Wilson explores the some of the psychological reasons why certain beliefs endure even in the face of falsifying evidence.
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