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Dutch school teacher stars in American comic

The story of the discovery of the mysterious green gas cloud, which is discovered by school teacher Hanny van Arkel and is internationally known as ‘Hanny’s Voorwerp’, has been made into an American comic book. Hanny van Arkel and the team of scientists, among who are ASTRON scientists, have been immortalized in the unlikely, but true story “Hanny and the mystery of the Voorwerp”. The comic, which will also appear on the internet and as a book, will be presented officially on Friday 3 September in Atlanta (USA) during the world’s largest science fiction meeting ‘DragonCon’. Hanny van Arkel will participate in this world premiere through a live internet connection.

Published by the editorial team, 31 August 2010

The object, which is about 700 million light years away from Earth, was discovered by Hanny van Arkel in 2007, when she was categorising galaxies on the website of the Galaxy Zoo project. she was hardly an amateur astronomer herself; She had found Galaxy Zoo, an online astronomy project, through Queen’s gitarist and astrophycisist Brian May.

After she brought the mysterious green gas cloud, named Hanny’s Voorwerp, to the attention of professional astronomers, a series of investigations with, among others, the Westerbork telescope of ASTRON, was conducted. After this, the team was even allowed to look at the Voorwerp with the Hubble Space Telescope. With the support of NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute, the comic was born, to show the world what they had learned.

Hanny van Arkel: “The team has involved me very closely in the development of the comic and I am very content with the results. It explains in an understandable way what I have discovered and it has become very beautiful”.

The text of the comic has been written by Mike Beatini, Pamela Gay, Bill Keel, Kelly McCullough, Mike Schoenberg en Jason en Jodi Thibeault. The drawings were made by Elea Braasch en Chris Spangler.

The comic can be seen from 3 September on:

For more information, please contact:

Hanny van Arkel. E-mail:

Femke Boekhorst, PR & Communication ASTRON. Tel.: 0521 595 204 en 06 21 23 42 43. E-mail:

For more information about the premiere, the comic and Hanny’s Voorwerp, see: or



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