Appearances can be deceiving. In this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, an odd celestial duo, the spiral galaxy NGC 4319 [center] and a quasar called Markarian 205 [upper right], appear to be neighbors. In reality, the two objects don't even live in the same city. They are separated by time and space.
NGC 4319 is 80 million light-years from Earth. Markarian 205 (Mrk 205) is more than 14 times farther away, residing 1 billion light-years from Earth. The apparent close alignment of Mrk 205 and NGC 4319 is simply a matter of chance. Astronomers used two methods to determine the distances to these objects. First, they measured how their light has been stretched in space due to the universe's expansion. Then they measured how much the ultraviolet light from Mrk 205 dimmed as it passed through the interstellar gas of NGC 4319.