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View Full Version : Hanny's Voorwerp - Still Alive and Kicking….



Fraser
2008-Jun-09, 09:20 PM
Back a few month's ago, we had an article about Galaxy Zoo. In essence, it's a type of consortium that studies galaxies and works towards classifying them. In the process of studying the images, they made a rather unusual discovery… One that's still around. (...)Read the rest of Hanny's Voorwerp - Still Alive and [...]

More... (http://www.universetoday.com/2008/06/09/hannys-voorwerp-still-alive-and-kicking/)

ngc3314
2008-Jun-10, 01:14 PM
It keeps getting better - our team was approved for 7 orbits' worth of Hubble observations of Hanny's Voorwerp in the next cycle. Details at the Galaxy Zoo blog entry (http://www.galaxyzooblog.org/2008/05/30/whats-an-astronomers-favourite-birthday-gift/); more to follow as the observations get set up... In fact, more details on the original discovery and data are available here (http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/research/voorwerp.html). This has been a marvelous bit of serendipity from the Galaxy Zoo project - things we would not have thought to look for. (For Anglophones - my admittedly mediocre Dutch pronunciation of this sounds sort of like four-vairp).

By the way, as far as I know, Joe Brimacombe's is the first amateur image to show the object.

Nadme
2008-Jun-25, 01:23 PM
Featured at APOD today. It sure IS "unusually green."

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080625.html

The current hypothesis:


Research is ongoing, but one leading hypothesis holds that Hanny's Voorwerp is a small galaxy that acts like a large reflection nebula, showing the reflected light of a bright quasar event that happened in the center of IC 2497 about 100,000 years ago.

B)

Or perhaps "The Incredible Hulk" got jettisoned out into space...

BigDon
2008-Jun-29, 03:51 PM
I prefer the blue one.

Are any of these "true color"?

ngc3314
2008-Jun-29, 06:43 PM
I prefer the blue one.

Are any of these "true color"?

The green one is much closer to visual color, modulo the usual problem that it's way too dim for actual human color vision. The [O III] emission line is enormously strong, responsible all by itself for something like 75% of the light in either the g or V magnitude systems. So if high-ionization planetary nebulae are green, so is Hanny's Voorwerp. (At redshift z=0.05 its color hasn't changed much from zero redshift). That image was made from a g-band image, one in the i band which is almost free of even the weaker H-alpha emission, and a bluer narrowband image, rescaled for (roughly) the right galaxy color (which we can do because we have calibrated spectra for both the Voorwerp and the galaxy nucleus).

slang
2008-Jun-29, 09:51 PM
(For Anglophones - my admittedly mediocre Dutch pronunciation of this sounds sort of like four-vairp).

Which to me sounds pretty decent, provided that the 'v' is a very, very soft one. Do I understand correctly that the 7 orbit observation will be actually scheduled after the Hubble servicing mission? In the 'putting a time and date' to it sense?

ngc3314
2008-Jun-30, 12:46 AM
Which to me sounds pretty decent, provided that the 'v' is a very, very soft one. Do I understand correctly that the 7 orbit observation will be actually scheduled after the Hubble servicing mission? In the 'putting a time and date' to it sense?

I feel a bit better after that pronunciation note - someone else said that was clearly the mark of spending too much time in Amsterdam, which I hadn't. Leiden, Amsterdam, the whole Randstad must be all the same:) I find it much harder to duplicate the way I hear the W in that part of the Netherlands.

Anyway - the detailed observing plans are due in this week for HST cycle 17 observations, which sort of by definition start following the orbital verification after SM4 (STS-125). (The Galaxy Zoo blog (http://www.galaxyzooblog.org) will have details on the specifics of our plan once this deadline is past). The visibility windows for IC 2497 and Hanny's Voorwerp run from December into almost May, so if all goes well with repairs and new instruments I'd expect to see the data next spring. Those caveats are important - we proposed observations with three instruments, of which one is still on the ground and two are in orbit but non-functional for electronic reasons.

eburacum45
2008-Jul-06, 12:52 PM
Research is ongoing, but one leading hypothesis holds that Hanny's Voorwerp is a small galaxy that acts like a large reflection nebula, showing the reflected light of a bright quasar event that happened in the center of IC 2497 about 100,000 years ago. Add to that 100,000 years the length of time the light has been travelling; about 700 million years. This 'voorwerp' is very distant in both time and space.

Sticks
2008-Aug-06, 07:24 AM
The BBC have picked up on this now (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7543776.stm)

They also have a picture of the teacher taking part in Galaxy Zoo who spotted it

Hanny
2009-Jan-12, 04:11 PM
Heh :) I just spotted this...

More pictures of that teacher (me :D) and links to all stories of Hanny's Voorwerp on the new website about it: www.hannysvoorwerp.com.

And nice to see you here too Bill!

Cheers all,
Hanny.

slang
2009-Jan-12, 08:48 PM
Having your own cosmological feature as an avatar rocks!

Hanny
2009-Jan-12, 09:33 PM
Having your own cosmological feature as an avatar rocks!

Thanks! ;D

One Skunk Todd
2009-Jan-12, 11:31 PM
That's not the Incredible Hulk, it's Kermit the Frog. :)

http://thegazz.com/gblogs/karinfuller/files/2008/07/kermit.jpg

BigDon
2009-Jan-14, 06:57 AM
Welcome!

Sticks
2009-Jan-14, 08:35 AM
You and Pamela should get together, it's not often we have female astronomers active in the field, something to be encouraged among the female students who are in school at this time.

Hanny
2009-Jan-14, 01:08 PM
You and Pamela should get together, it's not often we have female astronomers active in the field, something to be encouraged among the female students who are in school at this time.

Hey Sticks, thanks. I've spoken to Pamela before, even though I am not an astronomer. With me the emphasis is on the 'amateur' part. ;)

BigDon
2009-Jan-15, 09:19 PM
Now if anymore galaxy sized "reflection nebulas" are found, are the going to be known as voorwerps?



and Miss Hanny,

One, I thought you would be some stodgy, fiftyish academic with fringe of hair and a bad tweed jacket. Maybe looking like Kurt Vonnegut. I've replaced that mental image.

Two, I'll stop scaring small (5 to 8 year old) children around campfires using your discovery during ghost story time. Somehow I don't think you would approve.

"There's this big green thing in space and nobody knows what it is..." in the classic ghost story tone of voice with me emphasizing the Dutch pronunciation. I had them riveted. But I didn't say anything untrue! I just let their active imaginations fill in the blanks I left.

Worked better than I thought too. I awoke at 3 AM as one of my friends walked past my tent with his son on the way to the restrooms and I heard him say, "What the heck is a fartwarp and why does it want to get you?" And he was immediately corrected in the manner of bright 6 year olds everywhere, "No dad! Voorwerp!" :)

ngc3314
2009-Jan-16, 04:40 PM
Now if anymore galaxy sized "reflection nebulas" are found, are the going to be known as voorwerps?


Only if the Galaxy Zoo team has anything to do with it. (More properly I guess it would be voorwerpen). We're having discussions about the best way to look for more; I've already started looking around bright galaxies at smaller redshift (because I could get a good deal on the necessary narrowband filter).

In one of three articles in today's issue of Science about the International Year of Astronomy, Hanny and the Voorwerp's discovery are mentioned in the lead paragraph!