New NASA imagery from the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array spacecraft has been released showing a bizarre, radiant human hand-like structure that appears to be reaching out to touch a brilliant glowing red cloud in deep space. Complete with clearly-defined forearm, wrist, thumb, fingers, and fingernails, the celestial object has been appropriately dubbed the “Hand of God”. Scientists are not sure what the structure is but believe it may be a “pulsar wind nebula”, the dense remnant of a star that exploded in a supernova.
NuSTAR investigator Fiona Harrison said in a statement:
“NuSTAR’s unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light… We don’t know if the hand shape is an optical illusion.”
The photo, which looks like an X-ray of a hand from the doctor’s office, was imaged with high-energy X-rays. The glowing effect is produced by particles interacting with nearby magnetic fields. Scientists were quick to rule out anything supernatural explaining that “the photo is an example of “pareidolia”, the psychological phenomenon of perceiving familiar shapes in random or vague images”. Why they perceive this particular cloud-shape as “random” or “vague” is anybody’s guess…