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I. On Some Principles of Thought and Observation

The compilation of the cosmic objects listed in this catalogue and the preliminary review of some of their characteristics represents one of the results of my attempts during the past five decades to predict and to visualize the existence of as yet unknown aggregations of matter and of radiation, as well as of my consistent efforts to confirm observationally as many as possible of the predictions made.

During much of the past, discovery, invention and research were left to chance and were pursued more or less haphazardly by most scientists. This type of approach not only has been inefficient, both in the use of manpower and means, but it has also led to disastrous results for mankind, as I have stressed in other places (1, 2, 3, 4). Not only has the unity of science been lost but, in addition, the gap between science and the lay world has been allowed to deepen and to widen steadily.

The following account of some of the developments in astronomy in particular, and the suggestions made are intended to evoke wider perspectives and to invite our successors to make use of them as they see fit, or to top them by their own possibly superior views and more effective procedures for the development of a greater science and a sounder world.

Although in the 1920's I started out as professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Teehnology in Pasadena I occupied myself, in addition to the physics of gases, liquids and solids, with abstract astrophysical subjects, such as the "Thermodynamic Equilibrium in the Universe" (5), the "Redshift of Spectral Lines Through Interstellar Space" (6) and the "Gravitational Drag of Light" (7). I soon became convinced, however, that all theorizing would be empty brain exercise and therefore a waste of time unless one first ascertained what the population of the universe really consists of, how its various members interact and how they are distributed throughout cosmic space.

I consequently engaged in the application of certain simple general principles of morphological research, and in particular the method of Directed Intuition * that would allow me to predict and visualize the existence of as yet unknown cosmic objects and phenomena. This approach seemed timely and imperative for the following reasons.

First, we note that again and again scientists and technical specialists arrive at stagnation points where they think they know it all. The period around 1930 certainly was such a time. For instance, quantum mechanics and the Schroedinger wave mechanics had been so successful that even Wolfgang Pauli complained there was nothing left to do in physics but to solve the multibody problems involving atomic nuclei and electrons moving around them, just as there had been nothing left in classical celestial mechanics but to find ever more general and exact solutions for gravitational three- and many-body systems.

Lundmark's work, on extragalactic space as being occupied by myriads of stellar systems had been confirmed by Hubble and others. All types of stars were supposed to have been found and neatly ordered in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. All matter was thought to be built up of protons and electrons, and even the exact total number of these particles was known to A. S. Eddington. Furthermore most astronomers were and still are convinced that the redshift observed in the spectra of the distant galaxies is a clear proof for the expansion of the universe, some scatter-brains among them even claiming to know how the rate of this expansion has been changing in time, in spite of the fact that the observational data available are very meager indeed and that actually some of them are difficult to reconcile with the hypothesis of an expanding universe.

The naivety of some of the theoreticians, at all times, is really appalling. As a shining example of a most deluded individual we need only quote the high pope of American Astronomy, one Henry Norris Russell, who in 1927 announced (5): "The main outcome of these extensive investigations maybe stated in a sentence: The characteristics of the stars depend upon the simplest and most fundamental laws of nature, and even with our present knowledge might have been predicted from general principles if we had never seen a star."

Secondly, the most renowned observational astronomers in the 1930's also made claims that now have been proved to be completely erroneous. This retarded real progress in astronomy by several decades since the said observers had a monopoly on the use of the large reflectors of the Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories, and inasmuch they kept out all dissenters. I myself was allowed the use of the 100-inch telescope only in 1948, after I was fifty years of age, and of the 200-inch telescope on Palomar Mountain only after I was 54 years old, although I had built and successfully operated the 18-inch Schmidt telescope in 1936, and had been professor of physics and of astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology since 1927 and 1942 respectively. E. P. Hubble, W. Baade and the sycophants among their young assistants were thus in a position to doctor their observational data, to hide their shortcomings and to make the majority of the astronomers accept and believe in some of their most prejudicial and erroneous presentations and interpretations of facts.

Thus it was the fate of astronomy, as that of so many other disciplines and projects of man, to be again and again thrown for a loop by some moguls of the respective hierarchies. To this the useless trash in the bulging astronomical journals furnishes vivid testimony.

In view of the following discussion about the newly-discovered extragalactic objects listed in this catalogue it is useful to recall some of the major absurdities that were promulgated about galaxies, clusters of galaxies and other cosmic objects by the high priests of astronomy during the past few decades.

It must be emphasized right at the outset that no one, with the exception of the author (6, 7) has ever clearly stated what a galaxy is, an omission that no doubt will not only baffle every thinking layman but will in particular be judged ludicrous by any true methodologist or professional in morphological research. The strict definition given by the author has also led to a convenient classification, into supergiant, giant, normal, dwarf, pygmy and gnome galaxies, as well as to that of compact galaxies and compact parts of galaxies. Unfortunately my respective proposals have not so far been acted upon by Commission 28 (Galaxies) of the International Astronomical Union. As a consequence some of the most absurd and untenable definitions of quasars, quasistellar objects, "interlopers" have been introduced by A. Sandage (8), M. Schmidt (9) and others to which we shall return later on.

Some of the most glaringly incorrect conclusions drawn by E. P. Hubble and W. Baade that stubbornly persisted in the minds of most astronomers for decades are the following

  1. Hubble (10) and Baade (11) never ceased to stoutly maintain that the absolute photographic luminosity function of galaxies may be represented by a Gaussian error curve with a dispersion of only six tenth of a magnitude around some mean value Mop. They vehemently denied the existence of galaxies substantially less luminous than about one hundred million suns.
  2. As an auxiliary conclusion to a) it was stated that intergalactic space is empty or, at any rate does not contain any matter which can ever be observed.
  3. Hubble also studied the distribution of galaxies in cosmic space and affirmed on the basis of both completely faulty observations and incorrect statistics that only about five per cent of all galaxies are members of clusters of galaxies.

Surveying the statements made by Eddington, Russell, Baade and other astronomers I proceeded first of all on the basis of my conviction that there are more things in the sky than even the most imaginative human mind can divine but, that it must be possible to predict at least the existence of some new objects and phenomena through the use of the Morphological Method of Directed Intuition, applying it step by step to more and more general cases.

Subsequent Findings on the Issues a, b, c

a. Dwarf, Pygmy and Gnome Galaxies

I submitted (12, 13, 14, 1) that, if any type of aggregation of matter, that is nuclei, atoms, molecules, living cells or animals and men exist only in certain ranges of size, clustering about some most frequent value, one or several fundamental causes must be at work, none of which applies to galaxies. No deep thinking was needed to conclude that all sorts of material objects, including in particular individual stars and groups of stars containing clouds of dust and gases, must exist spread throughout intergalactic space. If at any given time such formations did not exist, they would of necessity appear eventually because of being ejected from large galaxies as a result of close encounters, as well as byproducts of large scale implosions and explosions.

As a consequence of the preceding considerations I started a search for dwarf galaxies with the 18-Inch Palomar Schmidt telescope, after it had been installed in the fall of 1936. Several most interesting stellar systems were presently discovered, among them the Leo I system at R.A. 9h56.4m, Decl. +30°59' (1950) and Sextans I at R.A. 10h8.6m Decl. -4°8.6m (1950). The expected high frequency of occurrence of dwarf galaxies was later amply confirmed, first through the discovery of the Sculptor and Fornax systems by Shapley and later by the dozens of objects found with the 48-inch Schmidt telescope on Palomar Mountain. Recently, in connection with the compilation of the objects for the present catalogue I have been able to round out my surveys on underluminous systems through the discovery of compact dwarf galaxies.

The existence of relatively numerous underluminous stellar systems was also confirmed through the discovery of many supernovae that reached a maximum luminosity several magnitudes brighter than the parent galaxy, the first case (18) having been the supernova of 1937, mp(max) = 8.2, in IC 4182 (mp = 14.0).

The fact that, except for some outstanding exceptions like George Ellery Hale, the members of the hierarchy in American Astronomy have no love for any of the lone wolves who are not fawners and apple polishers was made clear to me and to my independent friends on many occasions. Thus credit for my discovery of the first dwarf galaxies would have been lost for me if the following statement by Dr. E. P. Hubble had not appeared in THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY 52,486 (1941) which Dr. Walter S. Adams, and then director of the Mount Wilson Observatory, had urged him to write.


The Scientific Monthly for November 1940, contains an article entitled "Problems of Nebular Research" written by me and illustrated by Mount Wilson photographs. Two unusually Interesting dwarf irregular nebulae, shown on plates facing pages 399 and 401, are called "Baade's System in Sextans" and "Baade's System in Leo" respectively.

These designations are incorrect. They should be "Zwicky's System in Sextans" and "Zwicky's System in Leo." Both nebulae were discovered by Dr. Fritz Zwicky, of the California Institute of Technology, who identified them on photographs with the 18-inch Schmidt reflector, as objects which fulfilled his criteria for dwarf systems of the type in question.

Dr. Zwicky assembled a list of such objects for further investigation with large telescopes. Dr. Baade, with the 100-inch, verified the identification of the two systems under discussion and at the same time determined their distances.

The matter of nomenclature is important because these dwarf systems may play a significant role in cosmological theory. The regrettable error was called to my attention by Dr. Baade and Dr. Zwicky.

Edwin Hubble

This, however, in my career as a physicist and astronomer is one of the comparatively rare incidents in the USA in which the gentlemanly spirit upheld by so many of our great predecessors, among them H. A. Lorentz, H. Poincaré, A. Einstein, Th. von Kármán and the Ehrenfests prevailed, thanks to the interference by Dr. W. S. Adams. Today's sycophants and plain thieves seem to be free, in American Astronomy in particular, to appropriate discoveries and inventions made by lone wolves and non-conformists, for whom there is never any appeal to the hierarchies and for whom even the public Press is closed, because of censoring committees within the scientific institutions.

From theory (13) as well as from the discoveries mentioned it follows that the luminosity function of galaxies is monotonely rising with decreasing brightness, that is with (algebraically) increasing values of the absolute photographic magnitude Mp. A first quantitative function could be derived from the study of about 700 clusters of galaxies (14, 1), namely

Equation 1

It must be emphasized that the function (1) represents the overall result for many clusters of galaxies and, for the time being, excluding systems so compact that they could not be distinguished from stars. Whenever individual fields are investigated which contain certain special types of galaxies somewhat different distributions in luminosity may be found.

b. Intergalactic Matter

The presence of luminous intergalactic formations of matter was also promptly traced (19, 20, 21) with the 18-inch Schmidt telescope in the 1930's. To this very day only a few astronomers seem to appreciate the importance for cosmology of the existence of luminous clouds (14) in the large clusters of galaxies, for instance those in Perseus, Coma, Corona Borealis and Wolf's A-cluster. Also most remarkable are the extended luminous matrices in which so many groups of compact galaxies are imbedded. The majority of the astronomers still seem to be misled by Baade's statement (22) that he does not believe that experimental astronomers will accept the existence of intergalactic matter.

The thousands of luminous bridges, plumes, filaments, jets and clouds interconnecting nicely separated galaxies or emanating from them are now generally accepted as real and important. My first reports in the 1940's, however, had been arbitrarily (and illegally) censored by our observatory committee and withheld from publication in any of the regular American Journals. My original paper (20) on intergalactic matter therefore appeared in EXPERIENTIA, now mainly a journal for biology. This prompted Dr. S. van den Bergh later on to reprimand me for publishing important discoveries In newspapers like the BASLER NACHRICHTEN (Experientia being printed in Basel).

The widespread presence of intergalactic plasmas consisting of protons and electrons has in the meantime been amply confirmed by the radio astronomers.

c. Clusters of Galaxies

The assertion by Hubble (10), Baade and others that galaxies are essentially uniformly and randomly distributed throughout the universe was shown to be entirely erroneous after my first survey of about one hundred nearby clusters of galaxies with the 18-inch Palomar Schmidt telescope (23). The average volume, or cluster cell occupied by one of these (rich) clusters was calculated (23) to be a cube (or other space filling polyhedron) of about 40 megaparsecs indicative ** diameter. A redetermination of this dimension from the analysis of the 10,000 clusters of galaxies listed in the Catalogue of Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies (24) by Zwicky et al., gives very closely the same value.

For completeness it should be mentioned that in a report to Commission 28 (Galaxies) at the August 1967 assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Prague I proposed the following classification of clusters of galaxies.

I. Structural types of clusters of galaxies.
1. Compact
2. Medium compact
3. Open

II. Contents
a. Only Irregular member galaxies
b. Spirals and irregular galaxies
c. All types of galaxies, but few compacts
d. Clusters of the type c, but containing many compacts
e. Mostly elliptical galaxies
f. Clusters of the type e, with many compacts
g. Mostly or exclusively compact galaxies

A cluster of the type 2e thus is medium compact and is made up mainly of elliptical galaxies.

Altogether there are 21 types of clusters in our classification.

* The use of directed intuition is one of the various procedures of the Morphological Approach to Thought and Action that I have developed during the past few decades and which has been more fully applied in the books listed in the appended bibliography. Back.

** For the definition of indicative absolute cosmic quantities such as lengths, luminosities and masses see F. Zwicky and M. L. Humason Ap. J. 132, 638 (1960). Indicative quantities are calculated on the assumption that the redshift constant is equal to 100 km/sec per million pc. and that the symbolic velocity of recession is strictly proportional to the distance of the object in question. Back.

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