10/01/2014 05:20 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

Nasa Photographs Eerie 'Hand Of God' In Wake Of Deep Space Star Explosion (BIG PICTURE)

Nasa has photographed the eerie remains of an exploded star in Deep Space, nicknamed 'the Hand of God'.

The picture seems to resemble a giant hand stretching out through the darkness of space.

Of course it's nothing of the sort - it's really a cloud of material ejected by a dying star. The picture was taken by Nasa's NuStar and Chandra X-ray observatories.

"NuSTAR's unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light," said Fiona Harrison, the mission's principal investigator


Nasa explained on its website:

"The new "Hand of God" image shows a nebula 17,000 light-years away, powered by a dead, spinning star called PSR B1509-58, or B1509 for short. The dead star, called a pulsar, is the leftover core of a star that exploded in a supernova. The pulsar is only about 19 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter but packs a big punch: it is spinning around nearly seven times every second, spewing particles into material that was upheaved during the star's violent death. These particles are interacting with magnetic fields around the ejected material, causing it to glow with X-rays. The result is a cloud that, in previous images, looked like an open hand."

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