A while ago we (the team of astronomers involved in the investigation of Hanny’s Voorwerp and me) asked for funding to do some really cool outreach work. Good outreach work is important, so that every citizen is able to find out what those scientists discovered. And I’ve told a lot of people I would tell them this news if I was allowed to, so here goes…
We’re making a web comic! And to give you an idea of what we have in mind, here’s how we explain it on our shiny new website “Hanny & The Mystery of the Voorwerp” (this was written by Pamela Gay, who’s a member of our team):
“Sometimes reality is cooler than fiction, and we think we may have found one of those sometimes. We have all you need to tell a good story: A mystery (that would be the Voorwerp), a heroine determined to help solve the mystery (Hanny) and her band of fellow adventurers (the scientists), a series of challenges (acquiring and understanding data from a series of telescopes), and there is even an enemy: Time. The longer it takes our cast to solve the mystery of the Voorwerp, the more likely it is that someone else will beat them to the goal of understanding.”
So, we’re seeking writers and illustrators, which means you can get involved as well! We even have a punch line for the story, but we can’t share that online yet. There will be brainstorming sessions with author Kelly McCoullough in Bloomington, Minnesota the first four days of July this year and we’re hoping to have the web comic live in autumn (or fall) 2010! Obviously, as a team we do have the final say about The Story and whether I look nice as an action figure, for instance. Among the team, to make sure scientific facts are correct, is Chris Lintott and Bill Keel by the way.
And our Mystery, the Hanny’s Voorwerp itself, is now tweeting about this great adventure too. I will still be here to give behind-the-scenes-looks, but have a look at our project on our other website as well. There, I said it. After more than a year of keeping this a secret. I hope you´ll like it.