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Hanny's first scientific publication

Submitter: Gyula I.G. Jozsa
Description: In several places we have reported about amateur astronomer Hanny van Arkel, her engagement in the Galaxy Zoo project and at ASTRON, and her discovery of "Hanny's Voorwerp", a huge, mysterious emission nebula at a distance of at least 80.000 light years from the galaxy IC 2497.

We are now happy to announce Hanny's first publication in a scientific journal.
The title of the letter to the editor, appearing in Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) is "Revealing Hanny's Voorwerp: radio observations of IC 2497" (Józsa et al. 2009, A&A, 500, L33). We report on our observations with the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and real-time observations with the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network (e-EVN). Our results support the hypothesis that Hanny's Voorwerp is being ionised by an AGN at the centre of IC 2497. The observations also show that the emission nebula is part of a huge gas cloud (with a mass of 8.500.000.000 suns).

This letter will not be Hanny's last scientific publication. A paper about optical-, ultraviolet, and X-ray observations of IC 2497, with her as a co-author, has recently been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

Hanny's destiny is to appear on the cover of magazines, and now she has managed it again with her first scientific publication. The A&A cover with an illustration of our results differs a bit from our photomontage and is shown at the A&A website. Readers of the article will note Hanny's affiliation, ASTRON. After providing us with a very interesting object to study, and engaging herself in public activities of ASTRON, she became a honorary member of our institute.
Copyright: Collage by ASTRON, images by Hanny van Arkel (Hanny van Arkel), W. Keel, D. Smith, P. Herbert, and M. Jarvis (high-resolution image of Hanny's Voorwerp), A&A (A&A logo), ASTRON
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