XMM-Newton is observing Hanny's Voorwerp TODAY!
Just a quick note – our observations of IC 2497 and the Voorwerp have been scheduled for today and are taking place now. Since we’re observing in the X-rays, our “quick snapshot” to see what is going on actually takes almost a whole day. XMM-Newton‘s eye isn’t very sharp, so we won’t get a pretty picture. What we will get however is a really great spectrum of the X-ray emission of the black hole in IC 2497 (if it’s munching on stars and gas) and perhaps also the hot gas in the Voorwerp.
We won’t get the data right away though. First, the folks at the European Space Agency (esa) who are controlling XMM need to check out whether the data is OK and do some basic processing on it. Only then can they send it to us to have a look and that may take a few weeks.