Mel Acheson: Another Fogged Image of Stephan’s Quintet.
This new image of Stephan’s Quintet is befogged with the same obsolete commentary as previous images: the foreground galaxy, collisions, shock waves, and heat.
The foreground galaxy (bottom left) is believed to be in the foreground solely because of the consensus belief that redshift is a measure of distance: The foreground galaxy has a redshift of z=0.0026; the others range from z=0.019 to z=0.0225. The consensual conclusion is that the foreground galaxy is 250 million light-years closer than the others.
This belief in redshift as a cosmic meterstick has been disproved since the 1960s, but facts seldom affect institutionalized belief systems. Unremarked is the fact that the differences in redshift of the background galaxies place them (under consensus belief) farther from each other than the foreground galaxy is from the Milky Way. Does that make the foreground galaxy a member of our Local Group? Apparently, the illusion of foreshortening with distance works on beliefs as well.