Naked Quasars !

Point Spread Function

Deep photograph of an unresolvable galactic star reveals only the point spread function of the imaging system. The artefacts aren't associated with the original object but are internal imperfections of the optical system and typically manifests themselves as streaks and rings. In most cases the Hubble Space Telescope quasar survey revealed only 'naked quasars' without associated nebulosity, only star-like images similar to the one on the left were detected.


In a recent survey with the Hubble Space Telescope Bahcall et al. (1994) failed to find the so-called 'host galaxy' surrounding many quasars. The standard cosmological theory of quasars predicted that the nebulosity should have easily been detected with the resolution and dynamic range of the Hubble Space Telescope. This is a completely unexpected discovery and cosmologists are dumbfounded :

Out of the 15 quasars in the HST survey, 11 had no detectable nebulosity, they appear to be 'naked'. To make matters worse, in the four exceptional cases in which nebulosity was found, it was much fainter than expected, almost at the noise threshold.

These results were remarkable within the context of the cosmological theory, which depends on a host galaxy to 'feed' a ravenous black hole with the required 'food' to maintain its prodigious energy output. This poses great difficulties for cosmologists still clinging to the black hole theory. The problem is especially perplexing considering the fact that they pre-selected only low-redshift quasars for their survey which they hoped would translate to nearer objects thus more easily visible 'host galaxies'.

The model of a black-hole as the quasars central engine has been the centerpiece of the cosmological quasars theory. Black holes were needed as a theoretical 'patch' to justify many of the paradoxical properties stemming from the assumption that quasars are the most distant objects in the universe. Without black holes to provide the power the 'patch' once again has to be 'patched' !

McLeod and Rieke (1995) take the denial approach and attempt to re-analyse the data with clever image processing tricks in what seems like a desperate attempt to salvage the situation. Fukugita and Turner (1996) make a feeble attempt to patch the model by proposing a universe filled with unseen 'naked' supermassive black holes and quasars occur by encounters with material in the intergalactic medium. They seem to be grasping at straws.

Putting aside these last-minute attempts, it is safe to say that without the host 'galaxy' to provide the supposed black-holes with the required fuel, the cosmological quasar theory 'collapses' (no pun intended).


The laser star theory predicted these results. Quasars are merely hot stars similar to hydrogen poor shell stars and central stars of planetary nebula. It was expected that HST would not be able to resolve some of them, just as it is not able to resolve the disk of most other stars except for Betelgeuse (Gilliland and Dupree, 1996) Further, since the redshift is a number without physical significance, we predict that 'Naked' quasars will be found even for very low redshift.

Although authors in the astronomical literature have claimed that there are no other theories which would have predicted this outcome, they are wrong: The plasma laser star theory by Y.P.Varshni (1973) not only explains but predicts the missing nebulosity. If quasars are stars within the galaxy, their bright emission lines are due to laser action within a rapidly expanding and cooling stellar atmosphere. This tremendous mass loss leaves behind 'ashes' or 'exhaust' which may or may not produce visible circumstellar nebulosity. Except for the very large nearby stars such as Betelegeuse, most stars within our galaxy simply cannot be resolved at present nor by any instrument in the foreseeable future. And neither could laser stars with very little nebulosity.

Quasars which Hubble found were 'naked' in the optical were found to be embedded within extensive infrared nebulosity by previous ground based observers. Under the assumption of the cosmological quasar theory, the nebulosity originates from the stars in the host galaxy; hence even if their spectra was redenned, the nebulosity should show up in the visible spectrum and be detectable by the Hubble. This was not the case.

There are three simple solutions to this discrepancy and both involve dropping the quasar redshift assumption and identifying the nebulosity with circumstellar dust and gas around a laser star :

The astronomical community has shielded itself from the consequences of the laser star theory and its predictions by applying the selection effect. Research on objects in which astronomers claim have a redshift has remained in a strange limbo, despite the fact that most quasar properties aren't correlated to the redshift. The redshift has shackled the astronomical community. In addition the recent discovery of lasers in Eta Carinae, MWC 349 and in NGC 7027 are obvious clues that the cosmological redshift theory of quasars must be discarded.


  1. Press release: January 11, 1995; HST discovers naked quasars (and a photo)
  2. Bahcall,J.N., Kirhakos,S., Schneider,D.P.: 1994, ApJ., 435, L11. HST Naked QSO images (see also LALN preprint or ADS abstract or Schneider)
  3. Bahcall,J.N., Kirhakos,S., Schneider,D.P.: 1995, ApJ., 450, 486. HST Images of 8 Quasars
  4. Laor,A., Bahcall,J.N., Jannuzi,B.T., Schneider,D.P., Green,R.F.: 1995, ApJS., 99, 1. UV Emission of 13 Quasars
  5. Fisher,K.B., Bahcall,J.N., Kirhakos,S., Schneider,D.P.: 1996, ApJ. Galaxy Clustering Around Nearby Luminous Quasars.
  6. Bahcall,J.N., Kirhakos,S., Schneider,D.P.: HST images of 2 QSO. (see also LALN preprint)
  7. Bahcall,J.N., Kirhakos,S., Schneider,D.P.: 1995, ApJ., 447, 1. HST Imaging of PKS 2349-014. (see also LALN preprint)
  8. Bahcall,J.N., Kirhakos,S., Schneider,D.P.: 1994, ApJ.Lett., 435, L11. (see also ADS abstract)
  9. Fukugita,M., Turner,E.L.: 1996, ApJ., 460, L81. Quasars from Galaxy Collisions with 'Naked' Black Holes. (see also Princeton abstract or preprint) (seems like they are 'grasping at straws')
  10. McLeod,K.K., Rieke,G.H.: 1995, ApJ., 454, L77. (Desperate attempt to salvage HST naked quasar data with clever image processing tricks)
  11. Discover Magazine May 1995 (Naked Quasars)
  12. Science On-Line: Kaiser,J.: 1995, Science, 270(5240), 1303. 'Naked Quasars Get Dressed'
  13. Research: QSO host galaxies
  14. HST GTO/FOS Imaging and spectrophotometry of Seyfert Nuclei (Holland,F.)
  15. AAS 186th Meeting Program (has many quasar articles)
  16. Spacelink (PKS2349)
  17. Active Galaxies and Quasars (1995 Annual report of Penn State)
  18. Gilliland,R.L., Dupree,A.K.: 1996, ApJ, 463, L29. HST Image of the Surface of Betelgeuse
  20. HST GTO Spinrad,H.: High resolution morphologies and colors in distant radio galaxies
  21. Discovery Sheds More Light on Quasars
  22. Active galaxies (queens Univ.)
  23. Surveys for High Redshift Quasars (Schmidt,M, Gunn,J.)
  24. Space Adventure - Quasars: The Oldest Galaxies? (mostly inaccurate description of QSO)
  25. Knowledge Adventure - Reference - Space Adventure (interested but too 'flashy' !)
  26. Daniel Mortlock, 'Wide Separation Double Quasar', Honors project, 1994.
  27. QSO 0957+561
  28. Astronomy course: 640-177 Stars and Galaxies: Quasars
(The image of the bright star a the top of this page is extracted from a picture of the Horsehead Nebula which is courtesy of the Anglo-Australian Observatory)

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Laser Stars