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Morning Express with Robin Meade

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See it? NASA took this picture of the 'Hand of God'

  • Formation is a pulsar wind nebula about 17,000 light years away
  • Images from two space telescopes combine to make this stunning image
This NASA image obtained January 10, 2014 shows a cloud of material ejected from a star that exploded. NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, 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. Nicknamed the "Hand of God, " this object is called a pulsar wind nebula.
Astronomers are calling this stunning image "The Hand of God." Do you see it?  
This deep-space structure is about 17,000 light years away. Its unique appearance is the result of particle winds being blown around by the rapidly spinning "corpse" of a star that exploded.
You can see that dead star as a bright white spot in the "palm" of the hand. As it spins, it sends out a particle wind that interacts with the material around it. That glowing interaction is what gets picked up by NASA's NuSTAR telescope and Chandra X-ray observatory.
Is it actually shaped like a hand, or is this just a result of the way the telescopes "see" the X-rays emanating from it? NASA isn't sure, but the NuSTAR (short for: nuclear spectroscopic telescope array) space telescope is helping solve that mystery.
Morning Express with Robin Meade airs Monday through Friday at 6 a.m. ET on HLN. Like the show on Facebook, and follow on Twitter: @MorningExp.

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