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  Hanny's Voorwerp and other strange thingsJul 11, 2017 10:02 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share
 
Added 1 new A* page:Galaxy Zoo: Citizen science trailblazer marks tenth birthday is a recent BBC article that mentions some colorful new types of space objects found by volunteers examining photos of outer space for the "Galaxy Zoo" citizen science project—things with informal names like Green Peas (possibly active starburst galaxies) and Yellow Balls ("early stages of massive star formation").
 
Most of the article revolves around another new type of space object a project volunteer found, which also received a catchy name: Hanny's Voorwerp. "Voorwerp" is Dutch for "thing" or "object"; those discussing the curious smudge Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel had spotted in a space survey photo she was examining didn't know what to make of it, so they just referred to it as "Hanny's thing" in Dutch, and, well, "voorwerp" is a pretty darn cool-sounding word for something in space, so it stuck—and since then, more "voorwerpen" or "voorwerpjes" ("small objects") have been found. Subsequent analysis by big guns of science, including instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope, has suggested they are vast clouds of intergalactic gas that have been ionized by powerful jets shooting out of actively feeding supermassive black holes at the center of adjacent galaxies, and subsequently set alight in a blaze of star formation by gas streaming out of that same galactic center. The galaxy next to Hanny's Voorwerp is not currently active, but the extra glow in the voorwerp's gases is thought to be an "echo" or reflection of a bright quasar event that took place at the galaxy's core 100,000 years ago.
 
Also don't miss the photo (in both the BBC and the Hanny's Voorwerp Wikipedia article) of the Teacup Galaxy—the reason for the name is obvious as soon as you see its picture. : D
 
 
 
 
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