I was able to observe the 17th mag lensed double quasar Q0957+561 with the
Mallimcam Xtreme Color at 30 seconds exposure using my Celestron Edge 11 on an
Atlas mount. This is a single frame showing the pair. It is over 7 billion light years
away at a redshift of 1.41, with a separation of only 6 arc seconds. The moon was up
and just shy of first quarter at 43% illuminated. Taken at 23:42 on April 5 2014 in New
The tiny pair of dots is one of a few known gravitationally-lensed quasars. The source
is actually a single quasar over 7 billion light years away. The light from this object
passes around a giant elliptical galaxy with redshift 0.36 or 3.9 billion light years away.
This close encounter causes the light to bend and form into two separate images as
shown above. Quasars are the most luminous known objects in the universe. They
are thought to be the high-energy cores of distant active galaxies, with their energy
provided by matter-energy conversion as matter is sucked into giant black holes.
This quasar is easy to find since it lies just a few arc minutes North of bright galaxy
NGC 3079. I used a CCD camera to create a finder chart which can be seen here: