The “Hand of God”
It looks like outstretched fingers. This extraordinary photo was taken by the NASA’s Chandra Observatory. The “fingers” we see in the picture were created by a spinning neutron star known as a pulsar buried deep inside the fist, which releases energy as it rotates. Although the pulsar itself is only 12 miles in diameter, the cloud or nebula that it produces stretches across 150 light years of space.
This is an X-ray image. It was recorded by NASA’s Chandra Observatory which is circling 580.000 kilometers above the Earth taking images of high-energy locations across the universe, such as the remnants of exploded stars.
Neutron stars are created when standard stars run out of fuel and collapse, and NASA believes that the one pictured IN “The Hand of God” is rotating around seven times a second! The golden-red lights in the image are actually part of a neighbouring gas cloud, which has been energised by the wind of electrons and ions being spewed out from the pulsar. The colours of the image represent different energy intensities – the blue lights are the areas of highest energy X-rays, followed by green and then red.
Isn’t Nature just wonderful!?
Source: NASA, Wikimedia, Telegraph.co.uk