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From: Eric Flesch (eric@flesch.org)
Subject: See Alan Stockton's horsehead-quasar photo here!
View: Complete Thread (13 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: sci.physics, sci.astro
Date: 1998/01/23
See the photo at

Following is the original article:

An entertaining paper by Alan Stockton and Susan Ridgeway is available
at the xxx lanl preprint site.  It is astro-ph/9801056 "Deep
Spectroscopy in the Field of 3C 212".  There are horses' heads in
their sensational HDF fig 1A.

The quasar 3C 212 photo is shown overlaid with a green-tinted radio
emission map.  To the SE there is an optical feature nearly matched by
a radio feature, but in the NW there is a brilliant horse-head-shaped
radio emission which connects unbroken to the QSO with a long neck in
between.  Beyond this emission, further out from the QSO but in a
perfect line with the QSO -radio horsehead axis, there is an optical
horse's head, identical in every significant morphological way (i.e.
they look just the same).  Both radio & optical horseheads are
revealed in the article to be close doublets, with one emission at the
eye and another of the mouth of the horseheads.

Pretty spectacular correlated optical-radio feature isn't it?  (Go on,
take a look at it)  A triumph of HDF photography and careful
observation by the QSO master, Alan Stockton.

There's only one small rub.  Alan Stockton says...  ...  that the
horsehead features ... ... are ... not ...related.   Mmph.  Mmmpphhhhh
MphHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHA HAHAhahahaahaaheeeheeeeeeee.   Oh my.

Now that we've had our chuckle, we may wonder how Dr Stockton comes to
this apparently most absurd conclusion.  Well it's simple.  The QSO
and its horses' heads are violating the sacred holy order of the
cosmological redshift.  The horses' heads *dare* to be different
redshifts!!  The QSO and the radio horsehead are at z (redshift) =
1.049, while the optical horsehead is at z = 0.928. 

You might think that in the presence of such a compelling association,
some accomodation could be posited for the redshift difference.  I
mean come on guys, cut us some slack.  The horseheads are associated
objects beyond a shadow of a doubt!!  But no!  If you begin to
consider that objects of different redshift are associated then...
you'll become like... Halton Arp !!  AAIIEEEEEEE.  No no, anything but
that!   Deny the evidence!  I know nottink!!  Nott-TINK!!

Now, I wish to express understanding for Alan Stockton's predicament.
My first impression of the two horseheads was that they had a common
source beyond any shadow of a doubt!  And indeed, Stockton writes "...
there appears to be nearly compelling morphological evidence for
association rather than chance projection".  But as I considered this
photo, and wondered about the mechanism that could have produced the
optical horsehead beyond the radio horsehead, and as I continued to
ponder, the association began to slip away from me.  Staring at the
photo I began to think that perhaps it was just a coincidence, perhaps
they are just unrelated superimposed images.  Just as, I am sure, Alan
Stockton has stared at those images.  And then I came to my senses.

My friends, if you stare at anything for too long you begin to see
things which are not there.  And in the case of the double horseheads,
if you stare at the photo for too long, you'll begin to see
non-associations which are not there.  There is no doubt, the
horseheads are two sides of the *same* horsehead, and if the current
cosmological model cannot accomodate that, then the model will just
have to change.  Fred Hoyle has described the current state of
cosmological thinking as "what is known to be impossible remains
impossible no matter how strong the evidence for it may be".  When is
this facade going to crack?

Again, read the article.  Look at the HDF photo.  And tally the
evidence.  What do you believe, a mountain of contrived thought, or
the evidence of observation?  The concept, or the counterpoised image?
If they tell you it's blue, and you see it's red, who do you believe?

Eric Flesch

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