Monday, January 10, 2011

Giant Glowing Green Space Blob!

Hanny's Voorwerp. About the size of the Milky Way galaxy.

Hanny's Voorwerp—a glowing, green blob in space—is unexpectedly giving birth to stars, a new Hubble Space Telescope picture has revealed.

The odd object was discovered in 2007 by a Dutch schoolteacher participating in Galaxy Zoo—"voorwerp" is Dutch for "object." The online project had public citizens worldwide helping to classify galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey catalog.
Sounds like a fun project; either that or a way to get suckers to do your work for you for free... But I jest, just imagine "Fritz's Voorwerp."

The other object is IC 2497, a spiral galaxy lit from within by a quasar.  Hanny's Voorwerp was created from a string of matter from IC 2497 by the radiation from the quasar.

Hanny's Voorwerp is an unusual member of a recently discovered class of galaxies, "green pea" galaxies.

The universe is a weird, cool, place.

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