Hubble Eyes Hanny

This diagram explains the formation of the strange green object known as Hanny’s Voorwerp. Astronomers believe that it is part of the long streamer of gas that extends from galaxy IC 2497, lit up brightly by the searchlight beam of a recently extinguished quasar.

Almost four years ago a group of astronomers known as the Galaxy Zoo made a very exciting discovery – one they named “Hanny’s Voorwerp”. Although the action occurred a hundred thousand years ago and somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 million light years away, a once upon a time quasar burned brighter than its neighboring galaxy. While the tidal pull of massive spiral IC 2497 shredded a gas rich dwarf galaxy, the incredible outpouring of ultraviolet and X-ray radiation combined with the quasar ignited the gases to light… but what exactly is it? The Hubble Space Telescope turned its eye in the direction of Leo Minor to find out… (…) Read the rest of Hubble Eyes Hanny’s Voorwerp (991 words)

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