Quasar Red Shift - update
This post replaces my earlier post about red shifts. I had removed content in that post; this is the original.
Someone asked about more detail about quasar red shifts. Perhaps this is helpful.
The quasars showing a velocity faster than light present a problem to cosmologists. Perhaps the red shifts are interpreted wrong.
Maybe some cosmologist has already said all this but I do not recall any. In any case this is perhaps a different interpretation to consider.
Quasars and BL LAC objects are similar with extreme luminosity in a compact form. Quasars usually have extreme red shifts. The observed X-rays or radio waves are coming from synchrotron radiation.
From an abstract for this 2008 academic paper:
BeppoSAX OBSERVATIONS OF SYNCHROTRON X–RAY EMISSION FROM RADIO QUASARS
Blazars constitute one of the most extreme classes of active galactic nuclei (AGN), distinguished by their highluminosity, rapid variability, high (> 3%) optical polarization, radio core–dominance, and apparent superluminal speeds (Kollgaard 1994; Urry & Padovani 1995). The broad–band emission in these objects, which extends from the radio to the gamma–ray band, appears to be dominated by non thermal processes from the heart of the AGN, often undiluted by the thermal emission present in other AGN. Therefore, blazars represent the ideal class to study to further our understanding of non–thermal emission in AGN.The blazar class includes BL Lacertae objects, characterized by an almost complete lack of emission lines, and a subclass of radio quasars (which by definition display broad emission lines) which have been variously called highly polarized quasars (HPQ), optically violently variable quasars (OVV), core-dominated quasars (CDQ).
I believe there is an important distinction to be made about emission lines.
These objects share a similar mechanism for their broad spectrum; the AGN is not fully understood. The current conjecture involves a black hole. That mechanism is unclear. The broad band spectrum is coming from synchrotron radiation (noted in the paper above) which is the result of a combination of an electric current bending in a magnetic field.
A gas emits only emission lines defined by the element or compound.
The quasar has emission lines but the BL LAC has none.
Therefore the difference in spectrum is a different behavior of the quasar's atmosphere that has hydrogen ions in motion separate from the AGN core; the BAL LAC apparently has none of these loose ions.
Halton Arp had analyzed many quasars, He observed a quantized behavior in the emission lines. There were quasars in different areas that had a similar sequence of red shifts. As quasars moved farther from their parent seyfert (or they aged) the red shift dropped an increment.
The emission line is always red shifted because the motion of the hydrogen ions is always inward to the AGN. The quantized velocity values must be due to the particular electrical mechanism generating this motion.
The important distinction here is the emission lines are from hydrogen ions moving at relativistic speeds. The AGN is not necessarily moving at the speed of these loose ions above its core. If the ions emit only when extremely electrically excited during their rapid descent then we would observe this quantized behavior of such extreme velocities.
The term superluminal in the abstract notes velocities faster than light are observed.
Apparently from this observation, the AGN has a mechanism for pulling in and thereby accelerating hydrogen ions to a velocity of faster than light.
This velocity is not that of the AGN; the velocity is of the hydrogen ions being pulled into the AGN.
Halton Arp also observed among quasars the red shifts were similar but not identical as if the quantized shift also had a directional component, i.e. a plus or minus difference.
That is logical for this interpretation.
The hydrogen ions are being pulled into the AGN but the AGN can be moving. Whatever radiation the hydrogen ions are emitting would be affected by their motion and their AGN.
With this interpretation cosmologists should never use the red shift observed from a quasar as the velocity of the object.
These quasars are not moving faster than light but apparently their hydrogen ions are observed to achieve that velocity.
Perhaps there are galaxies actually moving at a a very high velocity but it appears quasars should not be treated as moving at the superluminal velocity currently assigned to them.
If this interpretation is accepted then there are consequences.
Dark energy is proposed to propel objects to such extreme velocities. Now they are not really moving at such velocities.
On 05/03/2019, I added this comment:
I disagree with Arp's use of the term 'age'. My post mentions there must be a mechanism to achieve these high velocities. I assume that mechanism must be a configuration of electric and magnetic fields. it cannot be a physical force. However these fields can generate the force for accelerating hydrogen ions toward the core that mechanism seems to have a quantized behavior. Apparently over time this mechanism changes in increments rather than in a gradual reduction.
The change must be electrical. Time is involved in the change of the mechanism but 'age' is not really the correct term. If it truly were only age then I would expect a gradual reduction. In my career 'age' meant mechanical 'wear and tear' but there is none with EM fields. I quibble with words.
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