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'Hand of God' Spotted by NASA Space Telescope (Photo)
Space.com ^ | January 09, 2014 02:45pm ET | By Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer

Posted on 01/10/2014 6:32:10 AM PST by Red Badger

Religion and astronomy may not overlap often, but a new NASA X-ray image captures a celestial object that resembles the "Hand of God."

The cosmic "hand of God" photo was produced when a star exploded and ejected an enormous cloud of material, which NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, glimpsed in high-energy X-rays, shown in blue in the photo. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory had imaged the green and red parts previously, using lower-energy X-rays.

"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 telescope principal investigator Fiona Harrison, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement.

The new image depicts a pulsar wind nebula, produced by the dense remnant of a star that exploded in a supernova. What's left behind is a pulsar, called PSR B1509-58 (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. (The pulsar is located near the bright white spot in the image but cannot be seen itself, NASA officials said.)

Scientists 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.

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

The red cloud appearing at the fingertips is a separate structure called RCW 89. The pulsar's wind may be heating the cloud to produce the low-energy X-ray glow, astronomers believe.

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.

The Hand of God is an example of pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon of perceiving familiar shapes in random or vague images. Other common forms of pareidolia include seeing animals or faces in clouds, or the man in the moon. Despite its supernatural appearance, the Hand of God was produced by natural astrophysical phenomena. - See more at: http://www.space.com/24225-hand-of-god-photo-nasa-telescope.html#sthash.pDwCLJzJ.dpuf


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: astronomy; hubble; space; telescope
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The hand might look like an X-ray from the doctor's office, but it is actually a cloud of material ejected from a star that exploded. NASA's NuSTAR spacecraft has imaged the structure in high-energy X-rays for the first time, shown in blue. Lower-energy X-ray light previously detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is shown in green and red. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/McGil

1 posted on 01/10/2014 6:32:10 AM PST by Red Badger
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To: SunkenCiv; KevinDavis

2 posted on 01/10/2014 6:33:19 AM PST by Red Badger (Proud member of the Zeta Omicron Tau Fraternity since 2004...................)
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To: Red Badger

I experience pareidolia when I look at the Hubble images of the Orion Nebula - I believe Heaven is actually there.


3 posted on 01/10/2014 6:35:31 AM PST by spankalib ("I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.")
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To: Red Badger

He’s even wearing a wedding ring.


4 posted on 01/10/2014 6:37:01 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Red Badger
Kirk: What does God need with a starship?
McCoy: Jim, what are you doing?
Kirk: I'm asking a question.
"God": Who is this creature?
Kirk: Who am I? Don't you know? Aren't you God?
Sybok: He has his doubts.
"God": You doubt me?
Kirk: I seek proof.
McCoy: Jim! You don't ask the Almighty for his ID!


5 posted on 01/10/2014 6:39:31 AM PST by GrandJediMasterYoda (Hitlery: Incarnation of evil.)
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To: Red Badger

Awesome stop sign.


6 posted on 01/10/2014 6:39:59 AM PST by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of Obama’s America)
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To: Red Badger

It looks like he’s reaching for a hotdog...


7 posted on 01/10/2014 6:40:51 AM PST by apillar
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To: GrandJediMasterYoda
Kirk: What does God need with a starship...

Lol! That was by far the best scene in what was otherwise a stinker of a movie....

8 posted on 01/10/2014 6:42:28 AM PST by apillar
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To: Red Badger
The Hand of God is an example of pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon of perceiving familiar shapes in random or vague images. Other common forms of pareidolia include seeing animals or faces in clouds, or the man in the moon.

I'm glad that writer explained that too us dumb rubes... and to think I beleieved that NASA really had captured a picture of God's hand!

9 posted on 01/10/2014 6:44:35 AM PST by apillar
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To: Red Badger

Looks more like Space Santa than a hand.


10 posted on 01/10/2014 6:46:48 AM PST by Brooklyn Attitude (Things are only going to get worse.)
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To: Brooklyn Attitude

Space Santa —

From hand of God ...

to hand-out of bo.


11 posted on 01/10/2014 6:50:22 AM PST by Scrambler Bob ( Concerning bo -- that refers to the president. If I capitalize it, I mean the dog.)
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To: Brooklyn Attitude

Whomever’s hand it is, it appears to be jet powered.


12 posted on 01/10/2014 6:53:24 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I forgot what my tagline was supposed to say)
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To: GrandJediMasterYoda
Great scene.

I always refer to that movie as "Star Trek V - Kirk Kills God"

13 posted on 01/10/2014 6:55:52 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts ("Gun horror is not a productive emotion, it's learned helplessness disguised as moral superiority.")
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To: Red Badger

Isn’t there an Eye of God photo out there as well?


14 posted on 01/10/2014 6:57:13 AM PST by needmorePaine
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To: Red Badger

Really? All I see is Sauron.


15 posted on 01/10/2014 7:01:54 AM PST by 3boysdad (The very elect.)
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To: Red Badger

It’s The Big Gripper


16 posted on 01/10/2014 7:09:25 AM PST by Colonial35
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To: Red Badger
Religion and astronomy may not overlap often, but a new NASA X-ray image captures a celestial object that resembles the "Hand of God."

Not big enough.

17 posted on 01/10/2014 7:19:51 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: spankalib
Not suprising. Pattern recognition is one of the things human beings do best, and we're hard-wired for in the womb. Paredolia is also, responsible for people who see the weeping virgin Mary in their garlic toast (unfortunately).

CC

18 posted on 01/10/2014 7:20:59 AM PST by Celtic Conservative (tease not the dragon for thou art crunchy when roasted and taste good with ketchup)
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To: Red Badger

Hopefully that’s the fires of hell he’s about to put out.


19 posted on 01/10/2014 7:39:45 AM PST by Phillyred
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To: Red Badger

There is a cherabim about to fall off the right edge of the cloud and the hand god will be there to catch him.


20 posted on 01/10/2014 7:49:32 AM PST by rwoodward ("god, guns and more ammo")
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