To: All Msg #114, Jun2593 01:29AM Subject: Re: Arp and quasars (was Old Astronomer jokes)
From: Philip R. Burns
To: All Msg #114, Jun-25-93 01:29AM
Subject: Re: Arp and quasars (was Old Astronomer jokes)
Organization: Northwestern University, Evanston Illinois.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Philip R. Burns)
I apologize for posting this twice, but I was trying a PC newsreader
that removed most of the whitespace in my original reply, making it
difficult to read.
In Article <1196@fedfil.UUCP> "news@fedfil.UUCP (news)" says:
> If standard dogma is correct, and the quasars really are in the billions
> of light years from us, then multiple telescopes might be needed. If arp
> is right, and they are much closer, say, 6500 light years, as he claims,
> then he might just find something with a normal telescope, which would
> have some bearing on the quasars. Somebody didn't want to find out.
> Ted Holden
I think Mr. Holden should pick up a copy of Arp's 1987 book
"Quasars, Redshifts and Controversies" and see exactly what Arp has to
say for himself. He might also want to look at some of the articles which
have appeared in the last few years in Nature. I'd suggest these as
useful starting points:
"The extragalactic universe: an alternative view" by Arp, Burbidge,
Hoyle, Narlikar, and Wickramasinghe, Nature, 346, 807 (1990)
"The case for the hot relativistic big bang cosmology" by Peebles,
Schramm, Turner, and Kron, Nature, 352, 769 (1991).
The standard "cosmological hypothesis" is that the redshift of an object
outside our galaxy results from the expansion of the universe. The further
away an object appears, the larger the redshift. If quasars are close,
then their large redshifts cannot be the result of distance alone. And
if they are close, then demonstrating that would garner fame and fortune
for the demonstrator. Showing that the cosmological hypothesis is wrong
sometimes would be a very important result.
Contrary to Mr. Holden's assertion that "somebody didn't want to find out,"
a number of researchers have worked on the problem of quasar distances.
The astronomers and astrophysicists Burbidge, Karlsson, Tifft, Narlikar,
Stockton, Kellerman, and Shaffter, among others, have worked on this problem,
in addition to Arp. It's not being ignored.
If at least some quasars are indeed close by, a number of possible
explanations have been offered to explain why their redshifts appear
much larger than expected: gravitational redshifts (as appear in
massive compact stars); various "tired light" theories in which a
photon loses energy while moving through space; variants of the
continuous creation theory in which more recently created particles
have larger redshifts than older particles; frequency shifts resulting
from correlated light fluctuations; and probably others. Possibly
Mssrs. Dehner and Walker can expand this list.
One last comment about Arp: in another note in this thread, someone
mentioned that Arp's work had not been supported and that he lost
observation time because he was an "unproductive observer." I think is
an unfair characterization of Arp's work. Those astronomers I've met who
know Arp think well of him, even if they disagree with his ideas, and they
think well of his observational work.
-- Phil "Pib" Burns
Evanston, IL. USA
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank