“Hand of God” Spotted By NASA Telescope
Gabriel Roşu / 6 years ago
NASA captured some X-Ray images with the help of its Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR for short. The image resulted in a hand-shaped celestial object that resembles the “Hand of God”.
“NuSTAR’s unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light,” NuSTAR principal investigator Fiona Harrison, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement.
It illustrates a pulsar wind nebula, produced by the dense remnant of a star that exploded in a supernova. The remnants created afterwards a pulsar, called PSR B1509-58, or B1509 for short, which spins around 7 times per second blowing a wind of particles into material ejected during the star’s death throes. As these particles interact with nearby magnetic fields, they produce an X-ray glow in the shape of a hand. Scientists however aren’t sure whether the ejected material actually assumes the shape of a hand, or whether its interaction with the pulsar’s particles is just making it appear that way.
The red cloud appearing at the fingertips is a separate structure called RCW 89. Astronomers believe the pulsar’s wind may be heating the cloud and producing the low-energy X-ray glow.The X-ray energies seen by NuSTAR range from 7 to 25 kiloelectron volts, or keV, whereas the energies seen by Chandra range from 0.5 to 2 keV.
This could be an example of pareidolia, a phenomenon which makes people see familiar things in unusual shapes. However, despite its supernatural appearance, the “Hand of God” figure was produced by a natural astrophysical phenomena.