NASA PHOTO SHOWS “HAND OF GOD” IN SPACE
April 16, 2009
(OUTER SPACE) -- NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, orbiting 580km above the earth, has snapped a photo of an X-ray nebula that spans 150 light years. The nebula resembles a ghostly blue outstretched hand grasping at or holding, depending upon perspective and interpretation, a ball of fire.
NASA's photo of the "hand of God" in space. CLICK TO ENLARGE
NASA's earlier photo of the "eye of God" in space. CLICK TO ENLARGE
The image recalls earlier pictures of the Helix planetary nebula, with its blue center surrounded by white clouds, which earned it the nickname "the eye of God".
The “hand” was created when a star exploded in a supernova, creating a rapidly spinning 20km-wide star called a pulsar, which is deep inside the white blob seen at the hand's wrist.
The pulsar (supernova) is spewing out enormous amounts of electromagnetic energy, creating a dust and gas cloud so wide and enormous it would take 150 years to cross it at the speed of light.
The red disc is a separate gas cloud. The fingers are thought to have been created as energy passed from the pulsar to the gas cloud.
NASA scientists estimated the moment depicted in the photo actually happened 17,000 years ago. It has taken that long for the X-rays to reach the Earth.