NASA telescope captures the 'Hand of God'

The image of a pulsar wind nebula seems to have captured the imaginations of astronomers at NASA who nicknamed it "Hand of God."
By Ananth Baliga  |  Jan. 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM
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NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has captured the image of a pulsar wind nebula, which looks very much like an X-ray image of a hand, and scientists have nicknamed it the "Hand of God."

The pulsar wind nebula is an exploded star ejecting material as it spins. The remnant dense core of the star is spewing particle wind into the material around it as it spins on its axis seven times per second. The particles then interact with the object's magnetic field, causing it to glow and form the shape of a open hand.

Scientists are unsure if the particle wind is interacting with the material in a way that makes it look like a hand, or if the material is already shaped like a hand.

NuSTAR focused on the object after NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory detected low energy X-ray light in the regions that appear green and red.

The red cloud at the end of the "finger region" is a different structure, and astronomers believe pulsar winds are heating the cloud, making it glow red with X-rays.


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