Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hanny and the Voorwerp

I'm writing this post because I came across something recently I can't recall ever having seen before: the story of a scientific discovery told in comic book form. I was already familiar with the basic story, but found it a fascinating and delightful read nonetheless. I'm passing it on in the hope that others will enjoy it as much as I have, for I believe it helps to recapture some of the joy and wonder of science that some of us all too easily forget. In fact, I think it's a good reminder to me personally of why I do what I do. It brings back the feeling of the majesty and mystery of the universe I had when I was younger, before I came to college and the exotic unknowns began to be replaced with boring familiarity.

I'm not going to spoil the story too much, but ‘voorwerp’ is simply the Dutch word for ‘object’, and Hanny's Voorwerp is a mysterious object found in the data for the Galaxy Zoo project by a Dutch schoolteacher named Hanny van Arkel. What this woorwerp turned out to be is a long and thrilling story...

...which you can check out for yourselves here.

(Warning to those with slower connections: it's 40 pages long, so it might take a while to load.)

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