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 possible or probable 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 a compelling enough counterexample that it should be investigated as a test 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 misses some of the galaxy; possibly the target was not the galaxy itself -- 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? It could be coincidental copositionality, or maybe there is a topological component to the observed redshifts which isn't currently modelled.

The Hypatia section presents a cosmology which allows for "intrinsic" redshift components, but it isn't mathematically developed enough to use constructively. NGC 7603 is intriguing, but needs further investigation to probe the nature of the higher redshift objects 2 & 3.