Astronomical redshifts of highly ionized regions
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- Hansen, P.M. Astrophys Space Sci (2014) 352: 235. doi:10.1007/s10509-014-1910-2
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Astronomical or cosmological redshifts are an observable property of extragalactic objects and have historically been wholly attributed to the recessional velocity of that object. The question of other, or intrinsic, components of the redshift has been highly controversial since it was first proposed. This paper investigates one theoretical source of intrinsic redshift that has been identified. The highly ionized regions of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and Quasi-Stellar Objects (QSO) are, by definition, plasmas. All plasmas have electromagnetic scattering characteristics that could contribute to the observed redshift. To investigate this possibility, one region of a generalized AGN was selected, the so called Broad Line Region (BLR). Even though unresolvable with current instrumentation, physical estimates of this region have been published for years in the astronomical literature. These data, selected and then averaged, are used to construct an overall model that is consistent with the published data to within an order of magnitude. The model is then subjected to a theoretical scattering investigation. The results suggest that intrinsic redshifts, derivable from the characteristics of the ambient plasma, may indeed contribute to the overall observed redshift of these objects.