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Thread: Hanny's Voorwerp -- It isn't easy being green.

  1. #1
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    Hanny's Voorwerp -- It isn't easy being green.

    Please read Edde's post below as I got a few things wrong -- Rick

    I seem attracted to the unusual and there's not much out there more unusual than this voorwerp. It is small (in angular size) and I needed a night of good seeing. Never got that last year. A few weeks ago I had a sort of usable night so gave it a go. I wanted to use 1x1 binning but seeing didn't seem up to it nor was it going to stay clear long enough. I need a lot more data at 1x1 and the sky wasn't going to allow that. So went to 2x2 binning and then enlarged the photo 2x. Still the clouds cut me off before I could do a second round of exposures. Since then its been snowing nearly every day. Those days it doesn't snow it blows it all around so I can't open the roof without a lot of it going inside. I gave up for now and am going with this underexposed version.

    It sat on my hard drive for a while until the other day when it was announced they might have figured out where all the energy needed to power this voorwerp was coming from. When you have a gas cloud the size of a galaxy glowing with the energy of billions of stars yet it contains no energy source it is a real voorwerp. With the news release I decided to go with what I had rather than watch seeing get worse as winter progresses (always has in the past). Best distance estimate I can find puts it about 660 million light years away. The galaxy near it is IC 2497.

    For those not up on Hanny and her voorwerp she is a high school science teacher, Hanny van Arkel is the full name. She was participating in the Galaxy Zoo project when this appeared on her screen. While others would have seen it as well only Hanny got curious and inquired of those running Galaxy Zoo what it was. That got the ball rolling and its been gaining speed ever since.

    While Bablefish says voorwerp means "object" a fried of mine who speaks the language says "thing" would be a better interpretation.

    See:
    http://www.universetoday.com/2008/11...werp-revealed/
    for the current best guess as to what this galaxy sized green cloud is and where the energy to power it is coming from.

    The green color is due to most of its emission being OIII and H-beta. It also emits a lot of Lyman series (ultra-violet) light. Since the emission comes from high energy particles rather than ultraviolet light the high energy emissions are preferred leaving little H-alpha emission. At least that's how I interpret this from my rather shaky 40+ year old physics background. For more on this see:
    http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/research/voorwerp.html

    I've attached a 2x crop of the full image at 0.5" per pixel. The full image (1" per pixel) is at:
    http://www.spacebanter.com/attachmen...7&d=1229024545

    14" LX200R @ f/10, L=4x10', RGB=2x10' binned 3x3, STL-11000XM, Paramount ME

    Rick
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by RickJ; 2008-Dec-12 at 08:08 PM. Reason: See first line

  2. #2
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    Nice image Rick,

    I was reading at Galaxy Zoo that it might be a light echo from a distant Quasar, I guess their still trying to figure it out....

    Great image.....and strange indead!

  3. #3
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    Oops I can't read. See Edde's post below

    Deleted wrong stuff:

    Rick
    Last edited by RickJ; 2008-Dec-12 at 08:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    Bravo !!

    Wow Rick - You got the Voorwerp !!
    Well done. I was wondering when someone here would have a crack at it !

    I'm most impressed. Pity about the weather you are having ....

  5. #5
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    Another impressive image and educational info on this object. Thanks Rick. and Clear Skies

  6. #6
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    Hi there,
    Great pic, would you mind if I post it back at the Zoo site? Lots of people there would love to see it too!
    A couple of corrections - Hanny isn't a high school science teacher, she teaches younger children. She's not a science teacher either as such, although she's done more of that lately. She teaches more generally I'd say.
    Also, the light echo idea isn't dead. The idea was always that it was a quasar jet that had lit it up. To quote the same article you link
    "It looks as though the jet emanating from the black hole clears a path through the dense interstellar medium of IC 2497 towards Hanny's Voorwerp", says Garrett. "This cleared channel permits the beam of intense optical and ultraviolet emission associated with the black hole, to illuminate a small part of a large gas cloud that partially surrounds the galaxy. The optical and ultraviolet emission heats and ionizes the gas cloud, thus creating the phenomena known as Hanny's Voorwerp."
    The recent radio observations are, I'd say, helping to refine the light echo theory.
    - Edd (of the Zoo)

  7. #7
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    Mrs. van Arkel is a onderwijzeres ('instructrix'), i.e. she teaches elementary school. (Primary education.)
    That usually means all subjects.

  8. #8
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    This is very cool.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by edde View Post
    Hi there,
    Great pic, would you mind if I post it back at the Zoo site? Lots of people there would love to see it too!
    A couple of corrections - Hanny isn't a high school science teacher, she teaches younger children. She's not a science teacher either as such, although she's done more of that lately. She teaches more generally I'd say.
    Also, the light echo idea isn't dead. The idea was always that it was a quasar jet that had lit it up. To quote the same article you link

    The recent radio observations are, I'd say, helping to refine the light echo theory.
    - Edd (of the Zoo)
    Thanks for the corrections
    I put no conditions on my photos execpt non commercial use so its fine to repost it to the Zoo site.

    Rick

  10. #10
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    Fantastic work as always Rick. Given the high energy nature of the reported source, your explanation of the colour sounds spot on. Thanks for the reference.

  11. #11
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    Hi Rick
    Great capture of this strange little green glow light. Well done and thanks for the info site. clear skies to you Paul

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by RickJ View Post
    Thanks for the corrections
    I put no conditions on my photos execpt non commercial use so its fine to repost it to the Zoo site.
    Rick
    Hi Rick,

    Edde pointed me to your picture and though I assume you don't mind me posting it on my website (www.hannysvoorwerp.com) either, I wanted to let you know that I'm planning to do that.

    How do you want me to credit you? Just Rick?

    Thanks!

    Oh and hi to aaalllll those people around this forum..!!!

    Hanny van Arkel.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanny View Post
    Hi Rick,

    Edde pointed me to your picture and though I assume you don't mind me posting it on my website (www.hannysvoorwerp.com) either, I wanted to let you know that I'm planning to do that.

    How do you want me to credit you? Just Rick?

    Thanks!

    Oh and hi to aaalllll those people around this forum..!!!

    Hanny van Arkel.
    Congratulations on your discovery! Bet you never expected where your curiosity would lead you.

    Yes you can use the photo. Just wish I had better seeing and could have gotten a better shot of it. I'm just a long time (built my first scope in 1954) amateur who enjoys sharing the universe. Just letting folks know such an odd object is within reach of amateur equipment was my goal.

    Rick

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RickJ View Post
    Congratulations on your discovery! Bet you never expected where your curiosity would lead you.

    Yes you can use the photo. Just wish I had better seeing and could have gotten a better shot of it. I'm just a long time (built my first scope in 1954) amateur who enjoys sharing the universe. Just letting folks know such an odd object is within reach of amateur equipment was my goal.

    Rick
    Well, you succeeded at that! I love it. And thanks again!

  15. #15
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    Hi Hanny - Welcome to BAUT. Congratulations on discovering a really interesting object ...

    Cheers,
    Judd

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jniemann View Post
    Hi Hanny - Welcome to BAUT. Congratulations on discovering a really interesting object ...

    Cheers,
    Judd

    Thanks Judd.

  17. #17
    Hi Rick and everyone interested in Hanny's Voorwerp...

    Just to let you know I posted your picture, together with two other new pictures on my website (www.hannysvoorwerp.com). I linked to this forum too.

    See you around!
    Hanny.

  18. #18
    Just to keep you updated, Edde posted it on the GZ forum now too. And it already inspired others to try and take a picture of Hanny's Voorwerp too!

  19. #19
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    I still think it's the Incredible Hulk, somehow having gotten jettisoned into space waaaay out there.
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

  20. #20
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    Congrats Rick!, That is super of Hanny using your great image of this very interesting subject at the Galaxy Zoo.org. Clear Skies to both.

  21. #21
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    Very Pretty Rick!

    Thanks for sharing AGAIN !


  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by JAICOA View Post
    Congrats Rick!, That is super of Hanny using your great image of this very interesting subject at the Galaxy Zoo.org. Clear Skies to both.
    Actually, Edde posted it on the Zoo and I posted it on my own website. But thanks! And it is a great picture indeed!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanny View Post
    Actually, Edde posted it on the Zoo and I posted it on my own website. But thanks! And it is a great picture indeed!
    It's very cool to have you posting here! Thanks.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by antoniseb View Post
    It's very cool to have you posting here! Thanks.
    Heh, thank you! I like this site.

  25. #25
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    I recall at Dragon*Con last year, Bill Keel and Pamela Gay (I think it was those two - I went to a lot of panels) gave a presentation on the Zoo and a match-the-image game was passed out. Your voorwerp was one of the images.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I recall at Dragon*Con last year, Bill Keel and Pamela Gay (I think it was those two - I went to a lot of panels) gave a presentation on the Zoo and a match-the-image game was passed out. Your voorwerp was one of the images.
    Anyone who wants to play can print two copies of the Galaxy Zoo Memory Game, cut the pictures apart, scramble and match! Once you cut one up, though, you may not find it so easy to match up the accompanying descriptions. We got the idea from a caption contest on the GZ blog for pictures taken during an observing run.

  27. #27
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    great stuff ngc3314, excellent link. thanks.

    a bit like this one: http://www.ioonos.com/games/memory.html
    which my baby loves, and similar others, conceptually.

    edit:
    Mr RickJ,
    Amidst the excited conversations above, i have overlooked saying hello to you and acknowledging your, yet another great composition. I would like to thank you for sharing it and the informative background description, here.

  28. #28
    Yeah I remember that one Bill, great idea!

  29. #29
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    Great! Thanks Rick!
    First thing that popped into my mind was slimer from ghostbusters. Just a really really really big slimer

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by stktos View Post
    Great! Thanks Rick!
    First thing that popped into my mind was slimer from ghostbusters. Just a really really really big slimer
    Heh, I actually hadn't heard that one yet!!

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