In this fascinating space wallpaper two objects are clearly visible, shining brightly. When they were first discovered in 1979, they were thought to be separate objects — however, astronomers soon realized 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 14 billion light-years from Earth. Quasars are the intensely powerful centers of distant galaxies. This image was released Jan. 20, 2014.
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Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.