Voorwerps everywhere

I’m delighted to announce that the fifth Galaxy Zoo paper – the one that discusses Hanny’s Voorwerp – has now been accepted for publication by Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


It’s somewhat of a relief to say that, as it was way back in August of last year that we first submitted it. The referee was extremely thorough, catching a few stupid mistakes we’d made (as a good referee should) and in correcting these and responding to responses for clarification the paper grew from four pages to thirteen. The basic story is still the one that Bill and I outlined more than a year ago – we think we’re seeing the result of activity associated with the black hole in the nearby galaxy IC2497 which has now ceased.

Along the way, another team of astronomers have published a paper about their radio observations of the Voorwerp; I’ll blog later in the week about how we think the two sets of observations are compatible. Hopefully they’ll do the same, and we can have a discussion in public about what we do – and don’t – agree on. By coincidence, their paper is being published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics this week – and their image of the Voorwerp made the front cover of the printed edition. We’ll have an image of that for you as soon as anyone involved can find a printed edition – a rare thing in this internet age.

Update : Paper is now available here.

P.S. For those keeping score, our Voorwerp paper was the 5th to be submitted, but the 6th to be accepted.

Update: The pre-print is available on astro-ph now.

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26 responses to “Voorwerps everywhere”

  1. elizatbeth says :

    Wonderful news! Great job everyone!

  2. jules says :

    So we can stop holding our collective breath now?
    Great news! 🙂

  3. weezerd says :

    I confess to being a pain and I’ve said it before, but is not this object known as “Hanny’s Voorwerp” and if so then should authors not be picked up on if they call it the “Voorwerp” which just happens to be Hanny’s, especially as prior to the naming of this object the word “voorwerp” had no specific scientific connotation?

  4. Chris says :


    I appreciate pedentry as much as the next person, but until other astronomical voorwerpen are found I’d say that Voorwerp is distinctive enough from voorwerp.

    Hopefully we will soon have a full set so that we will need to distinguish by name.


  5. zeus2007 says :

    Great score there team. And congrats to Hanny as well.

  6. Mukund says :

    Great news.

  7. Hanny says :


    Hey but we did recently voted for ‘voorwerpen’ as the English plural…



    Anyway, good news!

  8. Adrianus V says :

    Congratulations with the paper! 13 pages to read, pfff… no newspaper today. 🙂

  9. mrgoodwraith says :

    I’m unable to view the article; arXiv keeps asking me for a password.

  10. Kevin says :

    Strange. I re-posted the link. Try again. It works for me right now…

  11. mrgoodwraith says :

    Clicking on the link takes me to http://arxiv.org/auth/need-paper-password.php?paper_id=0906.5304&tapir_dest=%2Fabs%2F0906.5304, where I get the message “The function you’ve requested for 0906.5304 requires that you be registered as an owner of 0906.5304. You (mrgoodwraith) are not currently an owner of 0906.5304. You can become an owner by entering the paper password for 0906.5304.” When I enter no password, select “No” for “Are you an author of this paper?”, check the “I certify…” box, and click “Submit”, I get this message:

    “[b]You can’t claim ownership of 0906.5304[/b]

    “We do not allow people other than the authors of an article to claim ownership of an article before it has been publicly announced.

    “Historically, some authors have given the article password to their friends so that their friends can view the article before it has been accepted into arXiv. Unfortunately, this causes problems under the current system, in which entering an article password makes a user an owner of an article who is entitled to make changes to the article. In some cases, friends accidentally select ‘Yes’ to the ‘Are you an author?’ question, making an incorrect authority record.

    “arXiv.org considers submissions to be confidential between the submitter and/or authors of an article and ourselves until the article is announced. If you’d like to read 0906.5304 before then, please ask the authors to send you a copy. Thank you for your patience.”

  12. Kevin says :

    mrgoodwraith – does that still happen right now?

  13. mrgoodwraith says :


  14. Kevin says :

    Hmm now it happens to me as well. Very strange… will investigate.

  15. Kevin says :

    I *think* I know what has happened. If it’s what I think it is, the link should work fine after 8:00pm Eastern Standard Time.

  16. mrgoodwraith says :

    OK. I’ll try again later tonight.

  17. carloartemi says :

    I have the problem too

  18. Chris says :

    Try refreshing the page if you’re still having problems.


  19. Waveney says :

    When you get to the page click on the pdf link top right, not the apparent link at the bottom of the page.

  20. Kevin says :

    Everything should be fixed now, can you confirm?

  21. mrgoodwraith says :

    Yes, can read it now, thanks all!

  22. carloartemi says :

    I can read it now too

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  1. Voorwerpjes – Volunteers Wonderful Worlds - July 2, 2019

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