NGC 7603 has been described as "the most impressive case of a system of anomalous redshifts discovered so far", see the paper astro-ph/0401147 for a comprehensive description which is summarized here. The configuration and redshifts are as mapped on the right: two galaxies of different redshifts, connected by a luminous bridge,and where the bridge connects to each galaxy -- precisely exactly at each of the two points -- there is a higher-redshift object. By virtue of the luminous bridge and the perfect positions of the two faint objects, it is highly likely that these four objects are physically linked and sharing the same space -- standard cosmological model or no.

The point is that any scientific claim must be falsifiable. To hold that redshift is an absolute indicator of distance must be to allow standards of evidence which will overturn that position. NGC 7603 is evidence which meets that standard, and if it is not sufficient to overturn the standard model all on its own, it is strong enough to require addressing by the proponents of the standard model.

At right is a Hubble Space Telescope picture of NGC 7603. The square black areas are blocked out by the spacecraft; this is typical of an HST photo. THe camera was slightly mispointed, which also is typical when trying to work with such precision over such distances. Part of the galaxy was lost, see the small inset for the whole galaxy. The two small high-redshift objects are both visible in this HST photo as small knots of light where the filament connects to the galaxies.

So how did such a configuration come to be? The positions of the high-redshift objects are most problematic; of what physical significance is the juncture of the filament to the galaxy that there should be a higher-redshift object right there? As with tectonic plates, we can posit that once these two galaxies were in contact, and that the process of separation opened a topological fissure between them. Each side has retained part of this fissure and the bright bridge has grown between them as the galaxies drifted apart. Such topological rifts must be a rarity, so something special would have happened here, if this interpretation is correct.

This hypothesis stems from the topological interpretation of local (intrinsic) redshift, treated in the Hypatia section.