Nifty wrote: ↑
Fri May 25, 2018 10:33 pm
There's another 'dumbbell' shaped object (pair of objects?) to be seen in the hi-res image directly above the giant elliptical, left of the two spiky stars. Looks interesting. Speaking of spiky stars, are any of those bright spiky objects quasars?
They look like a pair of stars to me. They could be a pair of quite distant Milky Way stars, located thousands of light-years away. Or they could be more nearby, but very faint. Wouldn't it be interesting if they were a pair of white dwarfs?
As for quasars, like Chris said, quasars are unusual, while stars are a dime a dozen. Probability itself says that spiky objects are nearby stars.
In the pictures above, however, you can see a pair of quasars. However, they are really just one quasar, being lensed by a foreground massive elliptical galaxy. The two images of the same quasar are labeled A and B, while the lensing galaxy is labeled C.
In this new Hubble image two objects are clearly visible, shining brightly. When they were first discovered in 1979, they were thought to be separate objects — however, astronomers soon realised that these twins are a little too identical! They are close together, lie at the same distance from us, and have surprisingly similar properties. The reason they are so similar is not some bizarre coincidence; they are in fact the same object. These cosmic doppelgangers make up a double quasar known as QSO 0957+561, also known as the "Twin Quasar", which lies just under 9 billion light-years from Earth.
Quasars are the intensely powerful centres of distant galaxies. So, why are we seeing this quasar twice? Some 4 billion light-years from Earth — and directly in our line of sight — is the huge galaxy YGKOW G1. This galaxy was the first ever observed gravitational lens, an object with a mass so great that it can bend the light from objects lying behind it.
As a Color Commentator and lover of all blue things, I note, of course, that the quasars look blue. The way I understand it, most quasars look bluish when seen from the Earth. That is because quasars emit absolutely huge amounts of ultraviolet and far-ultraviolet light, which is then redshifted into the shortwave part of the visible spectrum on its (many) billion light-year journey to us. Only the most distant quasars (or the most dust-choked ones) look non-blue when seen from the Earth.