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Suzy Collin Observatoire de Paris-Meudon

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RESEARCH IS NOT A “LONG QUIET RIVER”. THIS PARTICULAR STORY IS FULL OF: - fruitless observations opening on unexpected discoveries, - come-back of premonitory ideas which were first neglected, - temporary very fashionable but wrong models, - passionate controversies, - misinterpretations responsible for twenty years of stagnation, - wrong arguments for good conclusions, and the opposite… BUT the thousands of papers and nights of the largest telescopes finally opened on a coherent physical model and on a new vision of galaxy evolution
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QUASARS AND GALACTIC NUCLEI, QUASARS AND GALACTIC NUCLEI, A HALF-CENTURY STORY: A HALF-CENTURY STORY: or the invasion of Massive Black or the invasion of Massive Black Holes Holes Suzy Collin Suzy Collin Observatoire de Paris- Observatoire de Paris- Meudon Meudon
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Suzy Collin Observatoire de Paris-Meudon
QUASARS AND GALACTIC NUCLEI,A HALF-CENTURY STORY: or the invasion of Massive Black Holes Suzy Collin Observatoire de Paris-Meudon RESEARCH IS NOT A LONG QUIET RIVER. THIS PARTICULAR STORY IS FULL OF:
- fruitless observations opening on unexpected discoveries, - come-back of premonitory ideas which were first neglected, - temporary very fashionable but wrong models, - passionate controversies, - misinterpretations responsible for twenty years of stagnation, - wrong arguments for good conclusions, and the opposite BUT the thousands of papers and nights of the largest telescopes finally opened on a coherent physical model and on a new vision of galaxy evolution THE FIFTIES: BIRTH OF RADI0ASTRONOMY
THE FORTIES C. Seyfert (1943) published a paper entitled Nuclear emission in spiral nebulae where he studied 6 galaxies with a bright blue nucleus and broad emission lines (up to 8500km/s) NOBODY CARED THE FIFTIES: BIRTH OF RADI0ASTRONOMY Theory of synchrotron radiation (Ginzburg, 1951) Identification of Cyg A and M87 (Baade & Minkowski, 1954) Burbidge (1959) realized that an enormous energy is released in these radiogalaxies ~ ergs = c2 x Mo 1959: BEGINNING OF A CONTROVERSY
Woltjer, ApJ 130, p38 The gas emitting the lines in Seyfert galaxies in general should be gravitationally confined by a dense core of about 109 Mo Burbidge2 & Prendergast ApJ 130, p26: The gas emitting the lines in the Seyfert galaxy NGC1068 should be ejected from the nucleus Woltjer was right on wrong arguments (but excusable at this time): he overestimated the mass of gas, and concluded that if the gas is escaping, the nucleus would be emptied very rapidly B2P were right only for NGC 1068, not for other Seyfert galaxies In THIS (S2) galaxy, the gas emitting the lines is partly outflowing DISCOVERY OF QUASARS Identification of the 3C catalogue:
3C48 is a blue star with intense broad but unknown emission lines in its spectrum (Matthews et al, AAS, Dec1960) UNPUBLISHED 3C273 unambiguously identified by moon occultation (Hazard 1962): it is also a blue star with unknown emission lines! breakthrough on Feb 5, 1963 (Schmidt): it is the Balmer spectrum with a shifttowards the red of 0.16 Note the chance: 3C273 is very luminous, and it has a small shift immediately similar discovery in 3C48 and 2 other objects first Texas symposia, several schools, books BUT SUBJECT NOT DISCUSSED IN THE IAU GA XII IN 1964 1965: THE FIRST PROBLEMS APPEARED
Greenstein and Schmidt, 1964: discuss the origin of redshift and eliminate a gravitational origin (because the width of the lines should be of the order ofthe shift) 3C48 and 3C273 are Quasi Stellar Objects (quasars) at cosmological distances corresponding to z=0.45 and 0.16 they are very luminous (=1000 galaxies) Harvard catalogue: 3C273 is a variable star (time scale of a week) Dent (1965): the associated radiosource is variable within a year Size


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