NASA Telescope Takes Photo of 'Hand of God'

(Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/McGill)An image from a NASA telescope, dubbed the "hand of God."

A telescope overseen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has captured an image that has been dubbed the "Hand of God."

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array recently caught the image, showing a "pulsar wind nebula" derived from the death of a star.

"The stellar corpse, called PSR B1509-58, or B1509 for short, is a pulsar: it rapidly spins around, seven times per second, firing out a particle wind into the material around it – material that was ejected in the star's explosion," reported NASA.

"These particles are interacting with magnetic fields around the material, causing it to glow with X-rays. The result is a cloud that, in previous images, looked like an open hand. The pulsar itself can't be seen in this picture, but is located near the bright white spot."

Tanya Lewis, staff writer for, wrote Thursday that the image was a "pareidolia," or "psychological phenomenon of perceiving familiar shapes in random or vague images."

"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," wrote Lewis.

"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."