The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

Hanny and the Mystery of the Voorwerp

Hanny van Arkel was a Dutch schoolteacher in the summer of 2007 and was participating in the Galaxy Zoo project.  While classifying galaxies, she saw a strange green blog.  She wasn’t the first person to see it (she was the 27th) but she was the first to wonder what it was and start asking a lot of questions about it.

This mystery object became known as Hanny’s Voorwerp and has fascinated astronomers the world over who started studying it with all manner of instruments including the Hubble Space Telescope.

I am not going to post spoilers here, because the whole story is being chronicled in graphic novel form.  It will be released at Dragon Con this week.  You don’t need to go to Dragon Con to get a copy, you can order your own for $5 plus shipping (only a couple of buck to Arizona).

This is a great tool for teachers who want to illustrate how ordinary people can make discoveries in science.  The key is to ask questions and hang on for the ride!

August 31, 2010 - Posted by | citizen science, Fun Stuff

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