8 people bested this!
8 people are curious.
Talk to anybody ‘knowledgeable’ in the field of astronomy about these things, and they will tell you that quasars are smallish (because they can show rapid changes in brightness), extremely distant objects (because their spectral lines – ‘benchmarks’, so to speak, in the rainbow of light that they produce – show enormous red shifts) and therefore, because of their supposed immense distance from us, must be extremely bright to be seen at all.
Not necessarily so!
I have been interested in this since I found out about the work of Dr. Halton Arp (his website is here) and the evidence that he assembled for his book Quasars, Red Shifts and Controversies (Cambridge University Press, 1988).
He makes a telling case for quasars being associated in space with galaxies which – according to the orthodox view – are supposedly much nearer to us than the quasar(s) in the sky around them. One galaxy (M82 – a real oddball in the galactic league even before you start on quasars) has apparently coughed out four quasars from its nucleus, all in the same direction. Well, closely enough to convince me that there’s something afoot here.
The basic problem is that a seemingly innocent and innocuous phrase like ‘red shift anomaly’ utterly rocks the standard theory about the Universe, which - putting it simply - most people know as the ‘Big Bang’, from its foundations to its pinnacle.
So most conventional astronomers just like to sweep it under the cosmological carpet, dismissing his work disdainfully.
Not I. And I did read his book very carefully.
The next-to-last image added shows a computer-enhanced view of a galaxy (catalogued as NGC 4319) and a much smaller quasar (Markarian 205, top right-hand corner of the image). The latter is supposedly much further away (NASA says 1 billion light-years, as opposed to only 80 million for the galaxy), as it has a much higher red shift value.
The only problem with this is that you can clearly see a bridge between the two. You can even discern it from photos taken by amateurs.
NASA's breathtaking official line on this is "Appearances can be deceiving" (I think they mean deceptive)... which smacks strongly of Cardinal Bellarmine's refusal to look through Galileo's telescope to see Galileo's discovery of the moons of Jupiter, on the grounds that he simply knew they couldn't be there...
The last image added is of the galaxy NGC 7319, one of the grouping known as Stephan's Quintet.
It has a quasar in front of it.