But the other major piece of evidence cited by discordant redshift advocates is that some of these apparently associated objects show actual connections between them.
Just how good are the 'connections' between discordant redshift objects, especially if we compare them to far more conclusive examples of connections between astronomical objects?
Could the connections between the discordant objects be yet another example of coincidental alignment?
First of all, many of the objects show no connection at all, but below we'll take a look at some of the claimed cases for connections.
The image above, from "X-Ray-emitting QSOS Ejected from Arp 220", is an X-ray image generated from the ROSAT PSPC. Here, the two high-z quasars (z=1.26 and z=1.25) are claimed to be ejected from Arp 220 (at z=0.018). The 'trail' of X-ray spots is claimed to connect the high-redshift objects to Arp 220. Note that the z=0.09 object, apparently part of this 'trail' seems to violate the theta-z = constant pattern. If that makes it not part of the trail, then discordant reshift supporters are stuck with the claim that it is another of those 'low-probability' events, a chance alignment. So either way, this configuration creates a problem. We can view the optical region around the object at one of the sky survey sites. You can retrieve a list of the objects in the field and optionally plot them.
|Field around Arp 220 (at center). Click to Enlarge|
- High-Redshift X-ray Emitting QSOs Ejected from the Nearby Active Galaxy Arp 220
- Chandra Observations of Arp 220: The Nuclear Source
Here's another image combining optical data with the ROSAT PSPC X-ray data, from "The pair of X-ray sources across NGC 4258: Its relation to intrinsic redshifts, ejection and quantization". The claimed connection is the two quasars (concentric circular contours) to the left and right of the galaxy.
Another version of this graphic at Halton Arp's site.
- Spectra of two quasars possibly ejected from NGC 4258.
- Comparison between the Galactic Center and Activity in NGC 4258 (M106)
NGC 4319 & Markarian 205
One of the claimed strongest cases of connections between objects with radically different redshifts is the case of NGC 4319 and Markarian 205. NGC 4319 is the barred-spiral galaxy in the center. Markarian 205 is the brighter 'spot' in the upper right corner.
You can see more images at the Hubble Heritage Project. Additional material on this pair is available at NGC 4319 and Markarian 205 by Roger Knacke (Penn State Erie).
However, the claimed 'bridge' between the quasar and the galaxy appears only after significant image processing, such as in the image at the Discordancy Report web site. The site even describes the technique used for generating this 'connection'.
Stuart Robbins' blog and podcasts covering the topic.
I retrieved the dataset of the June 28, 1993 observation of these objects from the Hubble archive and viewed them in SAO Image DS9. Note that these observations were made before the first Hubble servicing mission that repaired a number of optical problems with the telescope. Below, I plot the upper right quadrant of the image from file w1940102t_c0f.fits, trying to stretch the color range sufficient to reveal any details between the galaxy and quasar. I'll plot with two different color tables which should hopefully make it clear just how much detail there is in the pixel intensities alone.
|Rainbow color table applied to logarithmic+zscale mapping. Click to view the full 800x800 image|
|Rainbow color table applied to logarithmic+zscale mapping. This time data range is rescaled to 10-200. Click to view the full 800x800 image.|
Update: 6/10/2013: I've been informed by the operator of Discordancy Report that their image analysis was performed on an uncompressed TIFF image of the 2002 observation. However, even this does not make the observations immune from artifacts, or even over-interpretation of the data with sufficient processing.
As an additional example of how the feature in my experiment above may exist purely due to a judicious choice of color scaling, I'll add a screenshot raw plot of image intensity along a slice (green line) through the image that cuts between the quasar and the galaxy. The high spikes in the graph below the image are either cosmic ray hits or hot pixels in the CCD. If the connection between the two objects were real, you'd expect to see some kind of 'bump' or rise in the graph above the noise where the feature crosses the green line. However, it looks to be about the same level but for a slight increase on the left side as the slice gets closer to the galaxy. Again, the reality of this 'connection' is questionable.
|Screenshot of the data in DS9 with annotations. Click to see full view.|
Funny how the 'connections' between galaxies with these 'discordant redshift' quasars take so much work to see!
Also consider that the space between galaxies is not completely empty. When these objects are moving out from the parent galaxy, we should see evidence of some additional interaction along the path of motion. Why don't we? Why are so many of the 'connections' touted by Discordant Redshift advocates always at the limit of detectability?
Compare these claimed connections with...
REAL Stuff Ejecting from Galaxies
When we see stuff ejecting from galaxies, we really SEE STUFF. Consider these cases where we combine the optical image of the galaxy with the radio image constructed from the synchrotron jets emission from the galactic center. Compare the barely visible 'connections' claimed by supporters of discordant redshifts to real evidence of ejecting material in other wavelengths.
APOD: Jets from Unusual Galaxy Centaurus A
Not only are these jets obvious, we see they show very obvious interactions with their surroundings. They are turbulent and twisted and as they move further from the galactic center, they spread and are slowed by interaction with the surrounding intergalactic medium.
These outflows of ionized plasma make an incredible impact on their surroundings as they move through the intergalactic medium. The two examples above are strong evidence of actual material ejecting from galactic centers.
The discordant redshifts supporters have interactions between their objects, that are barely visible, when there is any interaction at all.
So just how real can these claimed connections be? Or are they, again, just the result of chance alignments?