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Galaxies and Quasars linked by a bridge of matter

The historical Facts:

In 1966, Publication of "ATLAS OF PECULIAR GALAXIES" (Halton Arp).

This Atlas contains 338 Galaxies, each stranger than the others. On the left are indicated a few of them.
Of course, not all strange galaxies are in this atlas. Especially since "Normality" in galaxies is a rather imprecise concept. Let us say that the strange galaxies of Arp are those which are difficult to include in the Classification Diagram of Galaxies of Edwin Powell Hubble.

The first case is the active galaxy NGC 4319 which seems very close to the quasar Mrk 205. (Not listed in the catalog of Arp)
In 1970, a famous controversy, concerning the reality of a connection between the galaxy NGC 4319 and the quasar Mkr 205, was prompted by a photography taken in England, by the amateur astronomer "well named" D. Strange, with a 50 cm telescope equipped with a CCD camera.
This photography shows this connection under the shape of a filament which seems to connect the galaxy and the quasar. But the redshifts of both objects are not compatible with the existence of this connection.

  NGC 4319  Mrk 205
z 0,006 0,070

A more recent high resolution photography made with the HST, does not show this bridge. However Digital Processing, of this photography by various persons, confirm the result obtained by D. Strange.

We cannot therefore attribute this phenomenon to an instrumental artefact; and as DP is different from an operator to another, we cannot either incriminate an artefact due to the DP.
For more information, we can consult the page dedicated to NGC 4319.

Some arguments called upon to reject this connection are the following :

  1. If Mrk 205 is close to NGC 4319, then the energy emitted by the quasar should excite the gas of the halo of NGC 4319 and we should find the corresponding lines  in the spectral analysis of Mrk 205.
    This argument is invalid simply because if Mrk 205 is an "accretor", then the filament is constituted of gas stemming from NGC 4319 and falling towards Mrk 205, and thus this gas surrounds the quasar and isolates it almost completely from the halo. The only observable significant phenomenon would then be a Maser effect in the accretion gas in presence of the emitted radiation (quantum Effect). And this is exactly what it is observed and what could explain not only the abnormal redshift, but also the specifis of the spectral analisys of the quasar. (Creil Effect proposed by Jacques Moret-Bailly).

  2. The UV absorption, by the halo of the galaxy NGC 4319, of the light emitted by Mrk 205 which would prove that quasar is not inside the halo of NGC 4319.

    There is no evidence for Mrk 205 being "beyond" or "inside" of the halo of NGC 4319. In both cases, for a terrestrial viewer, the light of Mrk 205 crosses all or a part of this gas and is therefore attenuated.

    As we don't know how the light is attenuated, we are not able to deduce anything.
    The only way to solve this problem would be to redo, at same wavelength, the same kind of measurement that
    J.N. Bahcall & al, made, but on all three objects : the galaxy NGC 4319, the bridge of matter and the Quasar Mrk 205.
    From the analysis of the results one could finally resolve this polemic.

    1. Similar attenuations would show that Halton Arp was right.

    2. On the other hand a meaningful jump of the absorption, between these objects, would definitely invalidate his claims.


NGC 7603 is the second case. This pair of galaxies in interaction appears in the catalog of Peculiar Galaxies of Halton Arp under the name ARP 92.
These two galaxies have nothing in common, except for the existence of a bridge of matter which seems to connect them.

  • The first one is a spiral galaxy for which z = 0,029.

  • The second would be a Quasar for which z = 0,057.

  • Their red shifts, being very different, their obvious nearness would be due only to a fortuitous alignment in the axis of vision.


    But, some very recent observations revealed the presence, in the main axis of this bridge of matter, two objects (quasars) with absurd red shifts.

    •  Object 2, z = 0,243

    •  Object 3, z = 0,391

    • Bridge of matter, z = 0,030 (For whatever the zone of measurement)

    It is very difficult to admit that this very specific alignment of all these objects is coincidental. The probability is of the order of 10-9.

    There is no satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon.

    For more information, we can consult our dedicated page: NGC 7603.


    The third case concerns the Stephan Quintet, (Arp 319). It is a cluster constituted of 5 galaxies. The table below gives redshifts.


    Redshift (Km/s)
    NGC 7317 6646
    NGC 7318A 6663
    NGC 7318B 5749
    NGC 7319 6710
    NGC 7320 791

    We notice that, in spite of appearances, the galaxy NGC 7320, according to its redshift, is not a part of this cluster. Other indications plead in favour of this thesis:

    1. Its colour, very different from that of the galaxies of this cluster.

    2. Unlike other galaxies of the cluster, the granular aspect of its surface which seems to be due to the presence more or less visible objects, rests of supernovae, clouds of ionized gases, what would be a proof of its nearness.

    A surprising photography, realized by NASA with the HST, casts doubt doubt on the assumption that the galaxy does not belong to the cluster.

    1. There is a bridge of matter between the pair of galaxies NGC 7318A+B and the galaxy NGC 7319. That is very normal for galaxies in interaction having equivalent redshifts.

    2. But there is also a bridge of matter between the pair of galaxies NGC 7318A+B and the galaxy NGC 7320. And that, it a flagrant abnormality.

    These bridges seem to correspond to moving matter between these galaxies. The collision regions are star forming regions.
    In both cases, these bridges are structured as filaments. That confirms the movements of matter.

    On July 9th, 2000, a X Ray photo of the Stephan Quintet is made by the Chandra Space observatory.
    The X radiation zones coincide, in every case, with the bridges of matter which appear in the image obtained by the HST in visible light.

    At the end of 2004 the Spitzer Space Telescope offers us an Infrared Image of the Stephan Quintet.

    And there also the bridges of matter appear very clearly and coincide with the bridges of matter revealed in visible, and in X.ray.

    So it became very difficult to support the thesis that the galaxy NGC 7320 is not a part of the "Cluster Stephan Quintet".

    The abnormalities of redshift and colour of NGC 7320 could be linked with the accretion of ionized gas "from or towards" this galaxy, which, in the presence of the emitted radiation, would lead to quantum effects. (Maser Effects).


    Here is the fourth and last case which we shall evoke here.

    September 9th, 2004 is published a document written by the team: Pasquale Galianni, E. M. Burbidge, H. Arp, V. Junkkarinen, G. Burbidge et Stefano Zibetti, under the title :
    The Discovery of a High Redshift X-Ray Emitting QSO Very Close to the Nucleus of NGC 7319.
    This article concerns the galaxy NGC 7319 which is in the Stephan Quintet.

    Near the centre of this galaxy, and manifestly ahead of this galaxy, was discovered a Quasar. (At the end of the arrow in the image opposite). And this Quasar is at the end of a jet of matter which seems coming from the center of the galaxy.

    Galaxy Red shift :
    Quasar Red shift :


    We can also notice, in the image below, that the Quasar is apparently in interaction with the surrounding matter of the galaxy..

    Credit: Jane C. Charlton (Penn State) et al., HST, ESA, NASA

    To know more about it, consult the page "New Culinary Recipe to Make a Quasar".



    All these observations are very strong indications that some redshifts, said cosmological, have an origin not connected with a possible expansion of the universe.
    The Creil Effect, applied to Quasars, could give a rational and "simple" explanation of this phenomenon.



    "Catalogue of Discordant Redshift Associations" - Halton Arp (Editeur : Apeiron).
    The web site of  Halton Arp.

    NGC 4319

    1. Hubble Heritage Supplemental NGC 4319 and Mrk 205 by Roger Knacke (Penn State Erie).

    2. NGC 4319 and MK 205 - Galaxies in Draco. An Example of the possible Quasar Red Shift Controversy.

    3. Galaxies and the Universe - Alternate Approaches and the Redshift Controversy (William C. Keel).

    NGC 7603

    1. Anomalous redshift companion galaxies: NGC 7603 - N.A. Sharp.

    2. Strong spectral variability in NGC 7603 over 20 years - W. Kollatschny, K. Bischoff & M. Dietrich. (PDF file, 975 Ko)

    3. Two emission line objects with z > 0.2 in the optical filament apparently connecting the Seyfert galaxy NGC 7603 to its companion - M. Lopez-Corredoira & Carlos M. Guttiérrez.

    4. The evolution of superbubbles and the detection of Lya in star-forming galaxies. - Guillermo Tenorio-Tagle, Sergey A. Silich, Daniel Kunth, Elena Terlevich and Roberto Terlevich

    5. Catalogue of "Peculiar Galaxies" - Halton Arp.

    6. The dedicated page of the  Halton Arp site

    7. The Discovery of a High Redshift X-Ray Emitting QSO Very Close to the Nucleus of NGC 7319.

    The double radio source 3C343.1: A galaxy-QSO pair with very different redshifts - H. Arp, E.M. & G. Burbidge.

    Creation date : 03/03/06
    Last release : 06/01/13

    Alignments of QSOs :