Hubble finds ghostly object in deep space
In a galaxy far, far away: The Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of Hanny's Voorwerp.
January 11th, 2011
10:04 AM ET

Hubble finds ghostly object in deep space

There's a green blob in space, but unlike a bad science fiction movie, it's not coming to take over Earth. Probably.

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of a green cloud of gas about 650 million light-years from Earth. It's been named Hanny's Voorwerp, Dutch for Hanny's Object.

The object is illuminated by a beam of light from a quasar that may have gone dark 200,000 years ago, according to the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

The Voorwerp is about the size of our Milky Way galaxy and is part of a 300,000-light-year-long stream of gas, the institute says. The green color is from glowing oxygen.

What appears to be a gaping hole in Hanny's Voorwerp actually may be a shadow cast by an object in the quasar's light path, according to the institute.

"This phenomenon is similar to a fly on a movie projector lens casting a shadow on a movie screen," the institute says.

The object may have been formed by a collision of two galaxies, according to the institute.

But don't worry. It won't bump into our galaxy within our lifetime.


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Filed under: Space
soundoff (469 Responses)
  1. Destiny

    Looks like an angel to me

    January 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. itcoming

    Thats whats killing all our animals

    January 19, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tissa Perera

    Looks like a starship enterprise abandoned and floating in space. The whole crew may be dead.

    January 19, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Red Yankee

    It's an Angel riding a Sandworm from Arrakis.

    January 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Louis

    I think I know what that blob might be!!

    January 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kyle

    This is really old news.

    January 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nyccmj

    "jehovah god created the universe and the earth,he knows every star by name..says it in the bible" it says it in the bible? hahahaha then it must be ture. how many idiots here believe in god still. really amusing.

    January 21, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Voicesof1

      The Internet: A system of computers whose sole purpose is to allow people who are starving to be listened to, to feel intellectually superior by calling others names from a safe location.

      January 23, 2011 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. Josh

    it looks like mary and baby jesus, maybe I'll try to sell on it....

    January 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Russ

    That last line about it probably not colliding with the earth in our lifetimes is so lame. It's over 650 million light years from earth! Not a chance of it ever colliding with earth. If it ever did come this way, the sun and the solar system would be gone by then.

    January 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. david

    If god did not exist, would man not invent him to explain what we do not understand?

    February 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. powerball

    LMAO! Nice try similar color match, but that looks nothing like the objects hanging around our sun now "seek the truth" God Bless

    February 2, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. guest

    What appears to be a gaping hole in Hanny's Voorwerp... lol

    February 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. harley

    idk you all have the best arguments ever keep going id love ta hear more

    February 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. christopher

    it looks like the Klingon ship is losing its cloaking device. 🙂 Creation sure is beautiful

    February 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. judge holden

    It's a streetlamp.

    February 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
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