Hannys Voorwerp
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Hanny's Voorwerp

August 8, 2008

A Dutch schoolteacher has discovered a mysterious and unique astronomical object through the Galaxy Zoo project, which enables members of the public to take part in astronomy research on-line.

Hanny van Arkel, a primary schoolteacher from the Netherlands, came across the image of a strange gaseous object with a hole in the center that has been described as a "cosmic ghost" while using the galaxyzoo.org web site to classify images of galaxies.

She posted about the image — which quickly became known as Hanny's "Voorwerp" after the Dutch word for "object" — on the Galaxy Zoo forum and the astronomers who run the site began to investigate. They soon realized the potential significance of what they think is a new class of astronomical object and will now use the Hubble Space Telescope to get a closer look at "Hanny's Voorwerp."


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