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'Voorwerp' is that?

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:02
Published on Wednesday, 06 August 2008 00:00
_44895118_galaxyzoo_ox_226.jpgA new class of cosmic object has been found by a 25 year old Dutch schoolteacher, Hanny Van Arkel.
Details have been submitted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

PS:The new object has been christened "Hanny's Voorwerp" - Voorwerp being the Dutch word for "object".

Hanny Van Arkel, 25, came across it while using the Galaxy Zoo website to help classify galaxies in telescope images.Researchers think the object got its energy from light emitted by a quasar  that has since gone dim. "The quasar itself is no longer visible to us, but its light continues to travel through space and the Voorwerp is a massive 'light echo' produced as the light strikes the gas," Dr Chris Lintott, Director of Galaxy Zoo, told the BBC


Ms Van Arkel, from Heerlen, near Maastricht, told BBC News she had no background in astronomy. She said her interest in music had led her to the book Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, co-written by Queen guitarist Brian May with BBC Sky at Night presenters Chris Lintott and Sir Patrick Moore.