You know that sensation that you experience when you're really thirsty? Or dehydrated? Or driving on asphalt? That moment of sheer terror before you realize that the street isn't melting in front of you? Well it would appear that that phenomena...it's not just in your head, it's leaped out and begun it's assault on a new territory that is rightfully the property of the U.S. Government. Space. That's right, mirages in space.
Many speculate that it is the Russians that have in fact aided our sworn perceptual enemy into the great expanses of the new American Frontier. And I need not express, people, for the statement is redundant to the ideas that I'm sure have invaded your mind, that we WILL NOT let this go unanswered.
Fortunately, America's top astrophysicists have already unravelled some of the mysteries behind said transgression against our state. The name given to the Russian devices that produce these cosmic mirages are "quasars". A quasar, or a QSO is/are, respectively, a quasi stellar radio source, and a quasi stellar object, which are, in fact, one in the same. Luckily for us, the Russian engineers responsible for these objects apparently did not take into account the advantages of stealth, for one quasar emits more light than all of the stars in the universe. Folks, that's a lot of light.
Now, it may not immediately be apparent to the average American how our ability to blaze the proverbial trail of the interstellar frontier is hindered by the appearance of Russian quasars throughout the galaxy. Allow me, if you will, to provide the explanation.
Mapping the universe, as you may well imagine, is a rigorous task requiring the utmost precision of measurements and calculation. Our adversaries ingeniously place quasars behind large stellar bodies. As the light emitted from the quasars reaches the outer edges of these bodies, it is bent by the gravitational forces produced by the rotation of the aforementioned masses. This produces one, or two, or three, or four, or even more images of the SAME quasar in different locations throughout the galaxy. Obviously, mapping objects that are not actually occupying the space that they appear to be occupying creates serious flaws in the navigation of the universe.
Again, luckily for NASA, the Russian government launched its malicious campaign to foil our exploration attempts before their quasar-production techniques had been refined enough to cause any serious damage. Many of the quasar mirages created are only a couple of arcseconds apart from one another, when viewed from Earth (for those of you who don't know, an arcsecond is one thirty-six hundredth of a degree in length). One example of this is the first quasar ever discovered, 3C 273, in the year 1962.
However, recent developments in the Russian Space Program (RSP) have allowed the quasars to be placed in strategic locations behind the largest masses in the universe, clusters of galaxies. To date, the largest separation between two gravitationally lensed (miraged) quasars is found in the group SDSSJ1029+2623, discovered in the year 2006 with a distance of 22.5 arcseconds. That's 22.5/3600 of a degree people. Potentially catastrophic space endeavors could have been undergone had our astrophysicists not discovered this. Thank God for American ingenuity.
But don't panic please. Our physicists are quickly working on ways to counteract these attempts to confound our space exploration. Currently, we are developing new ways of viewing the universe and are finding hundreds of potential quasar mirages. These hundreds of potentialities are then meticulously looked over by scientists and subsequently classified as either a mirage or just two interstellar objects closely fitting the description of a cosmic mirage. Out of these hundreds of potentials, only a handful are discovered to be Russian quasars, but thank the Lord that we are able to find at least those.
In conclusion, people, the world is once again saved by the common man and our dreams of inhabiting distant planets is not lost, for the time being.
Call To Action: Do your part and learn more about quasars and what you can do to help. The following is a list of a three of the discovered quasars in the universe, which I believe to pose the most potential threat.
***Q0957+561 "The Double Quasar"
***SDSSJ09464.90+183541.08 "The Russian Ravager"
***Q2237+070 "The Einstein Cross"