Picture of the Day: Strange Green Blob Floating in Space

More

SpaceOddity-Post.jpg

Hanny's Voorwerp (Hanny's Object in Dutch), shot here by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, appears to be a strange green blob floating in space near a normal-looking galaxy. Hanny's is actually the only visible part -- the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy -- of a stream of gas that stretches around the galaxy for 300,000-light-years. "The greenish Voorwerp is visible because a searchlight beam of light from the galaxy's core illuminated it," NASA explained. "This beam came from a quasar, a bright, energetic object that is powered by a black hole. The quasar may have turned off about 200,000 years ago."

The yellowish-orange area seen at the top of the Voorwerp is a pocket of star clusters; the youngest are a few million years old.

Image: NASA, ESA, W. Keel (University of Alabama), and the Galaxy Zoo Team.

View more Pictures of the Day.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

An Eerie Tour of Chernobyl's Wasteland

"Do not touch the water. There is nothing more irradiated than the water itself."


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In