Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quasar Clusters

Mel Acheson: Quasar Clusters.

Twenty-one quasars with similar redshifts cluster in a three-degree diameter area of the sky.

The quasar density is nearly six times the density of the nearby areas. At their Hubble distance, which assumes that their distance is proportional to their redshift, they would occupy a region of space over 800 million light-years in diameter. In comparison, the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, the largest nearby cluster, is estimated to be only 9 million light-years across.

Near the apparent center of the cluster lies the relatively nearby active galaxy AM2230-284. According to the Hubble relationship, the cluster is about 13 billion light-years beyond it. Its presence near the center of the cluster is merely a coincidence.

In a recent paper, astronomer Halton Arp and two colleagues analyzed the dispersion of redshifts in the cluster in relation to that of the AM galaxy. They removed the active galaxy’s redshift from that of the quasars, transforming the quasars’ redshifts to the rest frame of the galaxy. In consequence, the quasars’ redshifts fall closely on the most common value of the Karlsson periodicity—1.96.

In the beginning—in the 1960s and 1970s, just after quasars were identified—several astronomers noticed that the redshifts (z) of quasars around bright nearby galaxies tended to occur closely around certain periodic values: 0.60, 0.91, 1.41, and especially 1.96. In the conventional theories of the Hubble relationship, the expanding universe, and the Big Bang, this periodicity would mean that quasars were distributed in shells centered on the Earth.

Such a consequence pushed imagination past the borders of boggled. Fortunately (for convention), as more observations of fainter and higher-z galaxies and quasars were made, culminating in all-sky surveys, the periodicity “washed out” to insignificance. Convention sighed in relief, banished the small circle of dissident astronomers to the margins, and rejected their papers, apparently without reading them.

Unfortunately (for convention), the all-sky surveys misunderstood the proposal (hence the suspicion that conventional astronomers didn’t read the papers), so they failed to find the wrong result: They didn’t identify the quasar clusters associated with active galaxies, and they didn’t transform the z’s to the active galaxies’ rest frames before testing for the Karlsson periodicity. They only proved—unsurprisingly—that not following the method of the proposal will not find the proposed result.

Arp et al. propose that the Karlsson periodicity is an intrinsic quality of quasars due to their being newly created matter that is ejected from active galaxies, often in pairs in opposite directions. The new matter is initially without mass. As it communicates at the speed of light with other mass in the universe, its mass increases in accord with the Machian theory of inertia. As one consequence, its velocity of ejection decreases in accord with conservation of momentum. As a reflection of the quantum conditions of its “birth,” the changes occur in steps rather than continuously.

With each increase in mass, the energy of emitted light increases: the same transition in an atom or particle produces a photon at a higher frequency, that is, shifted toward the blue end of the spectrum. As the matter ages, its light becomes less redshifted. It approaches the redshift of the parent galaxy, whose z is a Doppler effect of the system’s velocity with respect to Earth. Hence arises the necessity of removing the parent’s z in order to discover the intrinsic z of the “babies.”

This intrinsic effect and the Karlsson periodicity apply not just to quasars but to companion galaxies as well. To the southeast of AM2230-284 lies the nearby galaxy NGC 7361, with a z of .004. A large number of companion galaxies with z between .058 and .065 extend for more than five degrees along the line connecting the two galaxies. The transformation to the rest frame of NGC 7361 makes little difference at this low value: the z’s of the companions cluster tightly around the lowest Karlsson value of 0.06. As the paper states: “The implication would be that NGC 7361 had ejected essentially all the low z companions in the pictured field and one of them, AM 2230-284, later ejected the 21 quasars of z = 2.149.”

NGC 7361 is not unique. NGC 7793, also with negligible z, has 49 galaxies within one degree whose z’s are confined to the interval .057–.062. NGC 4063, with a z of .0164, has companions with z of .078. When transformed to the rest frame of NGC 4063, the companion z is .061. The high-z galaxy UM341, with z of .399, has companions with z of .488—which transforms to .064.

A similar relationship holds with the Abell compact galaxy clusters, which tend to have intermediate values of the Karlsson sequence. Objects with intrinsic z’s of .06 tend to be galaxies; those with z’s of 1.96 tend to be quasars. This sequence implies an evolution from ejected quasar to compact cluster to companion galaxy as the matter ages. It groups deep sky objects into families and genealogies of families.

The clue, for those who have a clue, is to look for groupings of objects whose z’s, when transformed to the rest frame of a likely parent, cluster closely around the Karlsson peaks. Likely parents can be sought by looking for pairs of objects on opposite sides of a galaxy whose z’s are slightly above and slightly below the Karlsson peaks, indicating velocities of ejection toward and away from the observer that are superimposed on the intrinsic z.

Arp et al. remark, “Moving the quasars closer than their redshift distance would reduce their physical size towards that of known clusters of bright apparent magnitude galaxies.” Their radiant output also would come more in line with what we know about the radiant properties of nearby matter. An intrinsic redshift universe would not have so many, if any, superluminous objects. The visible part, at least, would be much smaller than the Big Bang universe.

If the quasar cluster around AM2230-284 is at the same distance as that conventionally assigned to the “grandmother” galaxy (NGC 7361), it would be only 3 million light-years across.

1 comment:

KV said...


Cluster fuck began a long time ago. See Kamasutra.