Space photography is awesome.
NASA released a new image this week from the program’s NuSTAR telescope showing a pulsar wind nebula that has been deemed “the hand of God.”
NuSTAR telescope principal investigator Fiono Harrison says the program’s new research toy is able to capture space phenomena with a level of detail not previously possible.
"NuSTAR's unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light," Harrison said.
This “Hand of God” image shows a pulsar wind nebula. The nebula is produced by the dense remnants from a star that exploded into a supernova. The remaining particles interact with nearby magnetic fields that project an x-ray image resembling a hand.
Scientists aren’t sure if the particles themselves are organized in the hand shape or if it is merely the x-ray image being projected.
“We don't know if the hand shape is an optical illusion," Hongjun An, of McGill University in Montreal, said. "With NuSTAR, the hand looks more like a fist, which is giving us some clues."