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Hubble zooms in on mysterious green blob in space


The mysterious, glowing green blob of gas is floating in space near a spiral galaxy. Photo: ESA Hubble

WASHINGTON (BNS): NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has studied the most mysterious, glowing green blob of gas known to astronomers since its discovery in 2007.

The cloud of gas was lit up by the bright light of a nearby quasar and has shown signs of ongoing star formation. Hubble uncovered delicate filaments of gas and a pocket of young star clusters in the giant object. The blob is the size of our own Milky Way galaxy and it is 650 million light years away.

According to ESA Hubble, by using the Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys, scientists have uncovered star birth in a region of the green object (Hanny's Voorwerp) that faces the spiral galaxy IC 2497, located about 650 million light-years from Earth.

The greenish Hanny's Voorwerp is visible because a searchlight beam of light from the galaxy's core has illuminated it. This beam came from a quasar - a bright, energetic object that is powered by a black hole.

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Hubble  Space  NASA  

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