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False-colour radio image of double quasar 0957+561

False-colour radio image of double quasar 0957+561

R932/0004

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Credit

DR DAVID ROBERTS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR DAVID ROBERTS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Image-processed radio map of the "double quasar" 0957+561 at 6cm wavelength, made by the Very Large Array, New Mexico. The quasar is a single object, located some 10 million light years away, but we see two images of it (blue circles one above the other at the centre of the picture) because the radiation from it is bent when it passes close to an intervening galaxy (small yellow & red patch just above the bottom image of the quasar) which acts as a "gravitational lens". The 1979 discovery of 0957+561, the first double quasar found, confirms Einstein's prediction of the gravitational bending of light in his 1916 General Theory of Relativity.

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