Halton Arp’s favorite place to be was looking through the Palomar 200-inch telescope – the biggest in the world. He became fascinated with galaxies and quasars finding many “peculiar” ones. But as he began to study what he was observing, he soon realized that the redshift that astronomers associated with the speed of objects expanding into the universe, turned out to be “intrinsic” or a property of the objects themselves and not their speed.
The eager astronomer was eager to report his findings until he realized that it flew in the face of the proponents of the big bang theory. Soon, he found himself banned from the telescope he learned to love all because he was a critical thinker and his evidence went against Big Cosmology.
His is one of the great fight stories of those who became science woke throughout the 20th century.
Halton Christian Arp received his Bachelors degree from Harvard College in 1949 and his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology in 1953, both cum laude. He was a professional astronomer who, earlier in his career, conducted Edwin Hubble’s nova search in M31. He has earned the Helen B. Warner Prize, the Newcomb Cleveland Award and the Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award. For 28 years he was staff astronomer at the Mt. Palomar and Mt. Wilson observatories.
While there, he produced his well-known catalog of “Peculiar Galaxies” that are disturbed or irregular in appearance. Arp discovered, from photographs and spectra with the big telescopes, that many pairs of quasars (quasi-stellar objects) which have extremely high redshift z values (and are therefore thought to be receding from us very rapidly – and thus must be located at a great distance from us) are physically connected to galaxies that have low redshift and are known to be relatively close by. Because of Arp’s observations, the assumption that high red shift objects have to be very far away – on which the Big Bang theory and all of “accepted cosmology” is based – has to be fundamentally reexamined.