Our Cast

These are the people who helped on the quest (in alphabetical order)



Vardha Nicola Bennert

Vardha Nicola Bennert (Univ. of California Santa Barbara). Her dissertation experience on gas ionized by active galactic nuclei, from Bochum in Germany, could have been tailor-made for tackling some of the questions posed by Hanny’s Voorwerp. After completing her PhD in 2005, she moved to the US to assume her first postdoc at the University of California (UC) in Riverside. She is currently a postdoc at UC Santa Barbara. Her research interests focus on the central region of “active galaxies” and its relation to the host galaxy. In her free time, she loves to explore the outdoors of southern California, and is also on an inward journey, integrating meditation into her everyday life.

John Louis Emil Dreyer (1852-1926, Oxford) Compiled known nebulae and star clusters into the New General Catalog (NGC) and the two parts of the supplemental Index Catalog (IC). Between them, these include about 10,000 of the brightest and best-studied galaxies, so his designations remain in wide use to the present day.


Edd Edmondson

Edd Edmondson (University of Portsmouth) Astronomer and data scientist working on surveys including SDSS, and Galaxy Zoo team member whose research has involved methods of estimating distances to galaxies. He’s trying to get into amateur astronomy having recently got hold of his own telescope, in the hope of seeing more light from deep space without having to get a computer monitor involved.

Michael Garrett

Michael Garrett

Michael Garrett Director of ASTRON, the Netherlands Foundation for Radio Astronomy, and black-belt radio astronomer. His career has carried him from the Scottish coast to the Dutch woods at Hoogeveen. He confesses to a weakness for automobiles and football (i.e. soccer), especially Glasgow and Lisbon.

Matt Jarvis Astrophysicist at the University of Hertfordshire, with particular interests in the history of galaxies as traced at multiple wavelengths.

Stephane Javelle (1864-1917). Astronomer working at the Observatory of Nice, France. Observed and measured 1889 nebulae (including what we now know to be galaxies) with the observatory’s 75-cm (30-inch) refracting telescope (an instrument whose dome was constructed by Gustave Eiffel).

Gyula (Josh) Jozsa

Gyula (Josh) Jozsa

Gyula Józsa (AKA Josh). Radio astronomer, research and support staff for the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope in the Netherlands. Led the analysis of the 21-cm data which showed that Hanny’s Voorwerp is part of an enormous arc of gas around IC 2497. Claims he has too little time for the cello or electric bass.

Bill Keel University of Alabama astronomer and galaxy specialist (plus retaining his status as amateur astronomer), often found browsing the Galaxy Zoo forum for promising research leads. Author of the less-than-wildly-popular “Road to Galaxy Formation” and “The Sky at Einstein’s Feet”. Part-time trombonist in symphonic bands, church orchestra, and ballroom-dance band.

Chris Lintott (University of Oxford) Oxford astrophysicist, co-presenter of the BBC TV series “The Sky at Night”, and principal investigator for the Galaxy Zoo project.
Co-author of the wildly popular book “Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe”, with Brian May and Sir Patrick Moore.

Anna Manning Graduate student at the University of Alabama, pursuing thesis work on dust on galaxies enabled by Galaxy Zoo.

Brian May Guitarist for the group Queen, and Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. Perhaps just as well known around here as Dr. May, author of ” A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud” and co-author of the wide-ranging book “Bang! – The Complete History of the Universe”.

Janet Raloff Reporter and blogger for Science News. Her blog entries after hearing Alex Szalay mention Hanny’s Voorwerp at a meeting started a stream of media reports.

Hayden Rampadarath (University of Manchester) Graduate student in radio astronomy. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, he has also studied at the University of Leiden and the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE). Oddly enough, his master’s supervisor at the University of the West Indies was once a faculty member at the University of Alabama where Bill has long worked. He loves sports (especially cricket, fencing, archery and kendo, trying to add a new one each year) and thinks Queen is the greatest band to ever walk the Earth.

Kevin Schwinski (Yale University) Astrophysicist whose dissertation work at Oxford played a major part in showing the way to Galaxy Zoo. Now working at Yale under a NASA Einstein fellowship.

Alex Szalay Astrophysicist and cosmologist at Johns Hopkins University; important member of the SDSS and GALEX survey teams. Has worked on applications of large-scale databases to research problems. Also noted as guitarist for the Hungarian jazz and rock band Panta Rhei.

Hanny van Arkel (Zooite) Schoolteacher in Heerlen, the Netherlands. Rock guitarist, science outreach spokesperson, and, incidentally, discoverer of Hanny’s Voorwerp.

Zooite Gumbosea

STS-125 (NASA)

Telescopes / Data Sets
2.1-m telescope at Kitt Peak Kitt Peak 2.1m telescope

GALEX Telescope

GALEX satellite
Gemini North

Gemini-N 8m telescope
Isaac Newton Telescope

2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope
Observatoire de Nice

Observatoire de Nice 75-cm telescope
SARA Telescope

SARA 0.9m remote telescope

Shane Telescope

Shane 3m telescope of Lick Observatory
Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)

SDSS 2.5m telescope with Galaxy Zoo banner
Suzaku X-Ray Telescope

Suzaku X-ray observatory

Swift satellite

Swift satellite

Very Large Array (used for the FIRST survey)

Very Large Array radio telescope
eVLBI – European Very Long Baseline Interferometry radio network

100m Effelsberg radio telescope, part of eVLBI network
Multi-Element Radio-Linked Interferometer (MERLIN)

80m Lovell radio telescope, centerpiece of MERLIN
Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT)Westerbork radio telescope array

William Herschel Telescope

4.2m William Herschel Telescope

XMM-Newton X-ray observatory

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