NASA's NuSTAR Captures Image of Structure Nicknamed the Hand of God

Posted on January 10, 2014

NASA's NuSTAR captures image of structure nicknamed the Hand of God


NASA's NuSTAR mission captured a new image of a structure nicknamed the Hand of God. The structure, which looks like an X-ray of a hand, is the remains of a dead star. You can find a larger version of the image here.

The image above shows nebula PSR B1509-58, which is located 17,000 light-years away. It powered by a dead star, called a pulsar. NASA says the pulsar is only about 19 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter. The powerful pulsar spins nearly seven times every second. It spews out particles that interact with material ejected during the death of the star. This causes the nebula to glow with X-rays.

Hongjun An of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, says in a release, "We don't know if the hand shape is an optical illusion. With NuSTAR, the hand looks more like a fist, which is giving us some clues."

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/McGill