Concept

Twin Quasar

Summary
The Twin Quasar (also known as Twin QSO, Double Quasar, SBS 0957+561, TXS 0957+561, Q0957+561 or QSO 0957+561 A/B), was discovered in 1979 and was the first identified gravitationally lensed object, not to be confused with the first detection of light deflection in 1919. It is a quasar that appears as two images, a result from gravitational lensing caused by the galaxy YGKOW G1 that is located directly between Earth and the quasar. The Twin Quasar is a single quasar whose appearance is distorted by the gravity of another galaxy much closer to Earth along the same line of sight. This gravitational lensing effect is a result of the warping of space-time by the nearby galaxy, as described by general relativity. The single quasar thus appears as two separate images, separated by 6 arcseconds. Both images have an apparent magnitude of 17, with the A component having 16.7 and the B component having 16.5. There is a 417 ± 3-day time lag between the two images. The Twin Quasar lies at redshift z = 1.41 (8.7 billion ly), while the lensing galaxy lies at redshift z = 0.355 (3.7 billion ly). The lensing galaxy with apparent dimension of 0.42×0.22 arcminutes lies almost in line with the B image, lying 1 arcsecond off. The quasar lies 10 arcminutes north of NGC 3079, in the constellation Ursa Major. The astronomical data services SIMBAD and NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) list several other names for this system. The lensing galaxy, YGKOW G1 (sometimes called G1 or Q0957+561 G1), is a giant elliptical (type cD) lying within a cluster of galaxies that also contributed to the lensing. The quasars QSO 0957+561A/B were discovered in early 1979 by an Anglo-American team around Dennis Walsh, Robert Carswell and Ray Weyman, with the aid of the 2.1 m Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, United States. The team noticed that the two quasars were unusually close to each other, and that their redshift and visible light spectrum were very similar to each other.
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