Published: May 4, 2010
Pulsar (PHOTOS) of Heavenly Hand?
by Mitch Marconi

A "heavenly hand" has been revealed in new photos released of a young pulsar, or rotating neutron star, and it has people wondering if is the "Hand of God."

For those of you who aren't scientists, pulsars are highly magnetized, rotating neutron stars that emit a beam of electromagnetic radiation, according to Wikipedia. The observed periods of their pulses range from 1.4 milliseconds to 8.5 seconds. The radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing towards the Earth. This is called the lighthouse effect and gives rise to the pulsed nature that gives pulsars their name.

In a new photograph released by NASA, a "heavenly hand" can be seen as the form of the pulsar. NASA's website posts the photograph with this caption:

"Explanation: As far as pulsars go, PSR B1509-58 appears young. Light from the supernova explosion that gave birth to it would have first reached Earth some 1,700 years ago. The magnetized, 20 kilometer-diameter neutron star spins 7 times per second, a cosmic dynamo that powers a wind of charged particles. The energetic wind creates the surrounding nebula's X-ray glow in this tantalizing image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Low energy X-rays are in red, medium energies in green, and high energies in blue. The pulsar itself is in the bright central region. Remarkably, the nebula's tantalizing, complicated structure resembles a hand. PSR B1509-58 is about 17,000 light-years away in the southern constellation Circinus. At that distance the Chandra image spans 100 light-years."

To the left is a photograph of the Chandra pulsar, just for compairson's sake. What do you think - The Almighty Hand of God or just some random electromagnetic radiation shape?

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