Vade Retro Satanas, Do not read this book, it is sulphurous!

Seeing Red by Halton Arp
( Published by Apeiron in Montreal in 1998.)


  1. The summary below is a re-using from the original text of Tom Van Flandern. Meta-Research , No. 15/12/98 of Meta Research Bulletin, Vol. 7, # 4

  2. It is possible that this text may contain some misinterpretations. In doubt, refer to the original English text. If you find any, I would be glad if you could communicate it to us, (Bernard Lempel ) We will not fail to make corrections as quickly as possible. Thank you.


DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. But if you were to decide, after reading this summary, to neglect this advice, you will then need to prepare yourself for your universe to be turned upside down. As you go through this awesome 306-page book, you should form an opinion, and it is very possible that doubts arise about what you know about the large-scale structures of the universe. The cosmological interpretation of redshift for the quasars and nuclei of active galaxies has often been reinterpreted before, but never so successfully. For there are few serious suggestions that the interpretation given of the relation between redshift and distance, as far as ordinary galaxies are concerned, may be false, as you will see here. And as if the implicit revolution in cosmology was not enough, your perception of the professionalism of scientists and the academic world in general, and astronomers in particular, will be the victims of your reading.

This book can be read in different ways. For example, a short summary of the evidences and implications appears in the pages. 239 to 241. If the text seems too technical to you, even with the help of the extended glossary, you can still grasp the essence by just browsing the photographs (8 color pages), the numbers, and the legends that Appear in almost every page. For example, it is not difficult to look at the X-ray filaments in the image of Makarian 205, which also appears on the cover of the book, and thus grasp the deep implications of this image. So if a low redshift Seyfert galaxy is physically connected and interacts with two quasars of high redshifts, one on one side and the other on the other side, then the redshift can not be either a distance or an indicator of velocity. And this image, by itself, refutes the Big Bang and most cosmological principles in their present forms.

Arp knows the extragalactic sky may be better than any other living astronomer. He has methodically built his demonstration against the standard interpretation of redshift. The oldest allusions to redshift problems appeared in 1911 with the discovery that very bright blue stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, have Redshifts systematically superior to the other stars, approximately 10 km / s. Later observations have shown that O-type stars in star clusters in our galaxy have redshifts identical to bright B-type stars and still 10 km / s. This phenomenon called "Effect K" is still in debate because it has no accepted theoretical explanation. However, doubts about the validity of the data were expressed. And the K-effect was then confirmed by more recent measurements of redshifts of super-giant stars in the two Magellanic Clouds, companion galaxies of the Milky Way. These are redshifts of approximately 30 km / s compared to other stars in these small galaxies. No one suspects that all the super-giants shining in our galaxy or in our immediate neighbors flee symmetrically far away, in relation to our own location, towards the edges of the Milky Way.

Companion galaxies in general appear to have redshifts that clearly surpass those of their parent galaxies. All the eleven companion galaxies of the Local Group have redshifts conforming to that of the central galaxy, the Andromeda galaxy. Similarly, all eleven neighboring galaxies of M81, in this group, have redshifts relative to M81. So, if these companion galaxies gravitated around their central galaxy, 50% of them should have been blueshifted. Although the evidence of redshifts of companion galaxies is not definitive for more distant galaxy groups, it is still statistically significant. The excess redshifts on the blueshifts for companion galaxies relative to their central galaxy is an apparently verifiable property of the local universe. And this means that the redshifts must have a cause different from that due to the velocity.

We begin to get clues about what can happen when Arp reminds us of the basic facts about radio galaxies. It was discovered a long time ago that there are generally two sides of the double radio lobes, presumably the result of explosions and ejections of matter from the original galaxy. High-resolution radio telescopes have detected filaments connecting these lobes to the central galaxy. And it is now known that the radio lobes projected correspond rigorously with the lobes in X-ray emanating from the same galaxy.

This gives us the keys to completely solve the quasar puzzle. Because quasars often also coincide with these sources of X-radiation. Quasars with high or low redshifts are associated with them much more often than a reasonable chance allows. These interactions and connections that sometimes occur often form couples for redshift objects with unrelated objects.

By working entirely from the observation data, Arp shows us that ejections from active galactic nuclei escape at speeds up to 10% of the speed of light. But ejections at slower speeds are impossible. Then apparently, all the ejections decelerate on leaving. Slower objects are eventually captured at approximately 400 kpc from their mother galaxy. But both the escaped quasars and the captured ones all end up with particularly weak velocities. In addition, the closest and therefore most recent ejections, have the highest relative redshifts, and the lowest intrinsic luminosities. This allows Arp to suggest that the redshift of matter is an inverse function of the age of this matter. Of course, as we would like to resist this conclusion, Arp shows, case by case, the facts that are consistent, many have been found after this hypothesis has been published, each with a thousand to one chances. Moreover, these quasars, apparently projected with redshifts, inversely functions from their distance to their source, tend to line up along the secondary axis of the parent galaxy.

The generality of these surprising conclusions is demonstrated by many examples, such as the similar pair of triple quasars Arp / Hazard, which have discordant redshifts and a Seyfert galaxy between them. Many other good examples have been discovered by experienced astronomers. However, even with isolated cases, by examining them in depth, Arp shows that these are not coincidences. A study of the luminous quasars showed that they are grouped around the cluster of the Virgin in the center of the local superamas, despite their redshifts which should place them outside the supercluster, far in the universe, far from this direction and Grant them no link from one to the other. The most visible quasar of the sky is 3C273, a member of a pair of quasars almost aligned across the brightest galaxy in the center of the cluster of the Virgin. A particular hydrogen cloud known to be in the Virgin cluster near the coordinates of 3C273 has a long, narrow shape that points to the quasar; Which also has a jet directed towards the rear of the hydrogen cloud. An X-ray map (Figure 5-16) also shows relationships between the cluster and the quasar. Currently, according to its redshift, the quasar is assumed to be 54 times farther than the cluster. As Arp says, for more than 30 years, the laws of astronomy grant only one chance in a million for this situation to be accidental. The most recent evidence from the X-radiation of the hydrogen cloud has confirmed that in fact there is no chance; In spite of everything the community is not ready to admit its embarrassment and to change its attitude.

Since redshift is not a good indicator of distance, Arp asserts that the brightness of the quasars is only apparent. Quasars close to M49 appear to be relatively randomly distributed on a map of the sky until only the brightest ones are recorded within a half-magnitude range. Then magically, there appears a line of quasars that emerge from M49 with redshifts that diminish as a function of distance, as the observational model predicts.

Whenever secondary distance indicators are available, they support this image. In some cases, the Faraday rotation caused by the crossing of a magnetized plasma can be measured for the quasars. Also the amplitude of this rotation should be an indicator of distance. But it has been discovered since the quasars with approximately 2 redshifts had only 1/3 of Faraday's rotation amplitude compared to the quasars with redshifts of approximately 1, whereas they should have had twice more. In contrast, it is in agreement with the Arp model because the redshifts, quasars of z = 2, are inherently less luminous, and therefore generally seen at distances simply closer, than those with z = 1.

Arp concludes that quasars are initially not very bright, but that they are perceived as objects, in appearance, of high redshifts, by transpositions of the low redshift, compact objects surrounded by a fuzzy cloud in which they evolve. They develop into small galaxies, high surface luminosity, from the materials available around them. And finally they evolve into normal inactive galaxies.

In this new approach to relations between astrophysical objects, Seyfert galaxies and their close cousins, BL Lac 1 objects are ephemeral evolutionary stages associated with the ejection of quasars from the nuclei of active galaxies. In fact, the Seyfert galaxies are quasar plants. Quasar count counts are strongly correlated with an almost complete sample of luminous Seyferts galaxies, as compared to non-active galaxy control samples.
Some of these associations have ridiculous explanations in the articles of the main scientific journals. The quasar GC0248 + 430 is thus described as "possibly a gravitational micro-lens effect on the quasar located behind the deformed arm of an interacting galaxy". Now it turns out that precisely it is a galaxy of Seyfert.

Indeed, quasars reveal themselves to astronomers as small portions of nuclei of active galaxies. (Somewhat of the look-alikes of Seyfert galaxies). Their distribution in two equal parts with respect to the core, their alignment with the lobes of the radio transmissions, the correspondence with the X-ray emission card, and the optical radiation data strongly confirm the interpretation of the ejection. As if nature has not already given enough indications, a diagram of the visible magnitudes with respect to the redshift (Hubble) shows that the Seyfert galaxies have too many redshifts at the weakest magnitudes and do not follow the same ratio as The normal galaxies. Indeed, as for the Seyfert galaxies, the Hubble diagram for the Quasars does not show more normal Hubble relations between brightness and redshift. One wonders in how many different ways one should repeat this message, about the redshifts that does not correspond to the distances, before it impregnates the astronomers.

Other astrophysical objects are in agreement with this message. Maser emissions associated with the presence of water are also detected in pairs clearly aligned with quasars. X-ray filaments, or jets, emerge from Seyfert galaxies and end up as quasars, often in pairs, with similar redshifts on opposite sides of the secondary axis of the galaxy. In addition, high-brightness spiral galaxies have an excessive redshift compared to normal spiral galaxies, as shown by Tully-Fisher's distance measurement method (which is independent of redshifts).

One can obviously ask what the clusters of galaxies have to say to us about this, because these are clearly and physically associated in clusters. The second proof they provide is really considerable. Classically, the clusters of galaxies, in total, obey the relation, of the diagram of Hubble, between redshift and luminosity, with a dispersion of only a few tenths of magnitude. But 14 clusters, north of Cen A, have a much larger dispersion with a maximum range of 4 magnitudes. These groups are unrelated to the type claimed for ordinary galaxies, and question that the classical Hubble relationship may have the usual meaning attributed to them, namely that redshift always indicates the distance for any what. We could simply have been fooled because brightness and redshifts are mass functions, which would lead to an apparent Hubble relationship without any real dependence on distance.

Some examples of clusters are real puzzles. The cluster Abell whose galaxies of strong redshifts are distributed exactly down both from the axis of the cluster of the Virgin and its twin, to the south, the group Fornax. A full sample over a large region of the Southern Hemisphere sky showed that the most intense X-ray concentration had the two brightest galaxies, M83 and Cen A, at its center, despite the largest redshift in radiation X clusters. In general, clusters, in X-ray, appear with redshifts of approximately 0.06, more often than chance does, which in Arp's interpretation characterizes them as young and intrinsically strong redshifts.

Secondary data including the measurement of the cooling rate indicate that at least 100 solar masses per year are lost by these clusters. This involves 100 billion solar masses in a billion years. Where is this mass going? Obvious possibilities can all be rejected. The active galaxies (BL Lac), with intermediate redshifts between quasars and clusters of galaxies, are apparently the generators of the galaxy groups. Normal galaxies in some redshift ranges tend to line up in space in rosaries, with the galaxy of lower redshift near the center. For example, 13 of the 14 most luminous spiral galaxies in the northern hemisphere are perfectly located, in lightly congested fields, on well-labeled rows of galaxies that have lower concentrations of galaxies with large redshifts. And there is an abnormal fading in blue, often of active galaxies that fill clusters with redshifts ranging between 0.2 and 0.4. These apparently evolve in the upper brightness range, lower redshifts objects are seen at 0.02. So the objects, apparently the youngest, with the largest redshifts, are aligned on either side of eruptive sources, which involves the ejection of protogalaxies and the association of these redshifts with the youth of these objects. The increase in distance from the source is correlated with the decrease in redshift. This indicates that this is the evolutionary meaning associated with age. At redshifts of approximately 0.3 and at distances of about 400 kpc from the source, the quasars become very luminous at optical wavelengths and X-rays, and they evolve into objects of type BL Lac (it is a Ephemeral stage because they are rare). Finally, they evolve in clusters of galaxies which appear at distances comparable to the BL Lac object, which implies that the clusters can result from the dissolution of these BL BL Lac objects.

There is more. Multiple images of quasar groupings were rejected as observation errors until the gravitational lens theory was invoked. So many more examples were quickly found. G2237 + 0305 was essentially a quasar of high redshift in the core of a low redshift galaxy. The lens effect was the only way out for cosmologists. The four images of the quasar were all at a distance of less than one second of arc from the nucleus of the galaxy. But Hoyle calculated the probability of such a lens phenomenon to be two to one million. Moreover, the quasar images spread radially towards the central galaxy instead of presenting as arcs as the lens theory predicts. The actual images of the arcs do not look so much like the predicted arcs, but rather pieces of elongated shells. This alternative is in better agreement with the existence of radial arcs, jets in the form of arcs, and jets which end in transverse arcs.

The latest global observational data demonstrate the quantification of redshifts. Basically, redshifts do not take all values ​​with equal ease, as they should if they were caused only by the velocities of the observed objects. For example, redshifts close to 0.061, 0.3, 0.6, 0.91, 1.41, 1.96 appear more frequently than statistics allow. The smaller redshifts also occur at preferential periodic intervals, as Tifft showed in a study, which was confirmed in an independent sample by Guthrie and Napier. The existence of privileged values ​​for redshifts shows that we are at the center of a series of expansions, or the redshift does not indicate velocity. Arp warns that weak quasars, with large redshifts, do not continue to show this effect, perhaps because the shape of the report changes at great distances from us (as suggested by low light). Also, the spread that exists around these preferred redshift values ​​is apparently due to the ejection rate which can be as high as 0.1 c. The average redshift of a quasar pair usually falls closer to a preferential redshift than either redshift would individually. BL Lac objects have the same quantification, but to a lesser degree, as is appropriate to their quasar connections. Figure 8-16 shows a striking set of bands and intervals for redshifts of X-ray galaxies in the Abell 85 cluster, illustrating the effect of redshift quantification at a glance.

The strength of Arp is the observation in extragalactic astronomy. With theory he is less competent, but he helps himself with the ideas of Narlikar, Hoyle and others. The concept of mass that increases with age has no adjustable parameters (the age characteristics are given by the measured age of our own galaxy), allowing predictions of intrinsic redshifts from K-effect stars up to To quasars, with results such that errors are less than an order of magnitude. The Big-bang with all its adjustable parameters can not do as well. Thus, redshift, indicates youth. And the slope of the Hubble diagram comes directly from the age of our own galaxy. Since the luminosity changes as a function of mass, the apparent brightness / redshift ratio is pure coincidence, and by no means a distance indicator. I can not have bias against simpler theoretical explanations for observational constraints than unquestionably the Arp theory of mass variation can provide. But Arp readily admits that theories need to evolve with discoveries, it is something that the Big Bang has stopped doing at a fundamental level a generation ago.

Some of the most entertaining aspects of this book are brought by the disagreements of Arp with his colleagues, the "Referees" and with the publishers of magazines. Arp treats these exchanges, with points of humor derived from his philosophy. Despite his pessimism, I wonder how each of us could have developed a much more optimistic philosophy if we had been in Arp's shoes. Anonymous "referees" often use abusive language such as "ridiculous generalizations" or "unjustified" or "bizarre conclusions based on extreme bias of authors who wish to find non - cosmological redshifts". It was not uncommon to find "Referees" suggesting that the implications should have been used to prove the errors of the observations! This Nobel prize-winner is quoted as having said, "Arp did not bring anything right in my course. I could have adjusted it, but I could not bear to see him take the course again with me."

We see in the anecdotes frequent affirmations, not demonstrated, that something is true or false for reasons that are not presented to the author so that the latter can refute them. An example: "Oh how many of these statements have been completely refuted". Arp introduces some names for some of these personal tactical battles. The "Maneuver of the Pleiades" is one of them: The measures concerning the "cosmological background" and the statistical significance of the "first plan" (such as the Pleiades cluster) are reduced to insignificance. The reaction to the presentation of the X-ray map showing the connection of the cluster of the Virgo and quasar 3C273 resulted in five refusals to publish, in two reviews, arrogant and condescending "referees" and was only Contemplated, by some colleagues, than in the manner of a "horrible car accident along the highway".

Unfortunately, the mainstream is well adapted for its survival. Thus, when Arp succeeds in crossing the minefield and obtaining his results to be published in spite of the "referees", a tacit and unwritten connivance is that no discussion or citations are made, and thus the inconvenient result will be Quickly forgotten. Arp suggests that a sampling of "referees" reports showing manipulations, tricks, insults, arrogance, and in addition the anger of these "referees" should be published to allow all to evaluate the objectivity of the information That they are allowed to read.

Here are some brief quotes about what Arp learned from these exchanges:

  • "When two opportunities arise, scientists tend to choose the wrong one."

  • "The stronger the evidence, the stronger the attitudes are."

  • The game here is to make an amalgam of all the previous observations in the form of a hypothesis and then to declare that there is no other confirming the observation ".

  • "No matter how many times something has been observed, it can not be believed until it has been observed."

  • "If you take a very intelligent person and give him the best of what is possible, the education of the elite, then you will most likely create and above all an academician completely impervious to reality."

  • "When you look at this image, no level of advanced university education can replace good judgment, in fact it would undoubtedly be an obstacle."

  • "Local organizing committees are yielding to imperialist pressures to avoid rival research programs."

  • "It is the fundamental responsibility of a scientist to face, and resolve contradictory observations."

  • "Science fails to correct itself, we have to understand why, and change that."

The book contains many others.

Like any work of this magnitude, a few errors have appeared on some points which appear doubtful. None of us can be expert in everything, and we always push the limits of our knowledge.

Here are some comments on these points:

  • Arp, in his arguments against the models of "tired light" (p. 97), makes a common but invalid assumption that quantum particles must be responsible for energy loss. For there are good reasons to suspect that quantum particles are, for no fundamental reason, responsible.

  • Arp's proposition (p. 219) that if the masses of the planets and those of the satellites can be quantified, uses invalid statistical arguments when it relates to large mass ranges. But it may be perfectly right for small differences of masses. In general, fission of particle pairs creates mass in the approximate proportion of 5/4, which may explain in part Arp's planetary statistics. This can also explain its 1.23 redshift magic quantification ratio if such a fission process is responsible for double ejections in galaxies.

  • On page 234, Arp cites the surface brightness test, which must vary as (1 + z) 4 in the Big-bang. He applies this to his own model assuming that the observations conform to it. However, the observed dependence is in (1 + z) 2. The evolution of galaxies is considered to be responsible for the difference in the big bang, but this obviously can not be applied to the Arp model.

  • Page. 237, Arp incorrectly states that the cosmological background must come from a thin shell, saying that this has not been explained. But this radiation is supposed to have flooded the universe shortly after the big bang, and it has since cooled. So every point in the universe now receives a cold radiance, and there is no shell anywhere. However, Arp provides more likely and correct explanations for fossil radiation than an original big-bang residue.

  • The use of Arp of statistical peaks from him to explain the difference between an a priori and a posteriori of probability is there only to make sure he understands the difference and importance.

  • It is disappointing that he makes no mention of the role of giant elliptic galaxies in the evolutionary scheme of these objects.

In this debate, Arp, quite rightly, shows that in some ways the meaning of the redshift must be, in a catastrophic way, completely wrong. This leads him to wonder how many other uncertain assumptions can exist in other areas affecting our daily lives, about which we innocently trust too much. Which is perhaps the most sensible thought of all.

Bernard Lempel. (Courtesy of  Tom Van Flandern)


  1. BL Lac, (Blazar Lacertae), type of active giant galaxy, having a compact nucleus, optically very bright and very variable on short time scales (day to month). These galaxies are also very often intense sources on radio waves. Their spectrum is generally devoid of emission lines. Those that have some lines are called Blazars.

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