Over the past couple of years, since I started this blog, I've encouraged you to get involved in science and technology, including pointing you toward Galaxy Zoo as a way to contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
Well, since then, one amateur using Galaxy Zoo—Hanny van Arkel, a schoolteacher from the Netherlands—has made a discovery that has stumped astronomers and physicists. The anomaly, a bright gaseous mass with a gaping hole in its middle, has come to be known as Hanny's Voorwerp (Voorwerp is Dutch for object). And now, thanks to Hanny's discovery, the Hubble space telescope will be pointed at the Voorwerp sometime in 2009 to help determine what it is.
So thanks to amateurs like Hanny (and me, and you, if you've been participating in any of the amateur science opportunities I've highlighted in the past) the amount that we know about our universe is growing. Are you doing your part?