Hubble telescope discovers what our problem is


January 12, 2011 - 12:00 AM

A mysterious green blob in space has captured the attention of the Hubble Space Telescope and its operators. It has a name. A Dutch school teacher, Hanny van Arkel, discovered it in 2007. Hanny was among others invited to name unnamed celestial objects from star photographs. The blob she found fascinating is therefore called Hanny’s Voorwerp. Voorwerp means “object” in Dutch.
We know a little about Hanny’s thing. It sits out there 650 million light years away — a light year is about 6 trillion miles, a distance any student of the federal deficit can readily understand — and makes stars.
Hanny thinks about her object more romantically. When she first saw it, she says, “It looked like a blue smudge. Now it looks like a dancing frog because it’s green.” She says she can even see what passes for arms and legs.
Hanny doesn’t have any idea how her object got so far out there and can’t imagine why it is making stars.
I can explain.
Hanny didn’t find her object until 2007 because she hadn’t been looking. Actually, Hanny’s Voorwerp is made of pure sweet reason and has been 650 light years away from Earth for quite a while now. It grows a bit bigger every Voorwerp year (or however Vorwerpians count time) as more reason leaves Earth in a panic and flies away.
Voorwerp is making stars in the hope that one of them will cool off and become a planet where a new species of beings will evolve. A species which finds sweet reason both natural and nourishing.
Many thanks to Hanny and a plea to the Almighty: Please hurry.


— Emerson Lynn, jr.

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