(WJW) – NASA has unveiled a new image that captures the haunting remnants of a collapsed giant star, and it resembles a spectral cosmic hand.
It’s located approximately 16,000 light years away from Earth.
According to a press release from NASA, the hand-like formation is the product of a giant star that exhausted its nuclear fuel around 1,500 years ago, subsequently collapsing into a dense neutron star. These celestial objects, known as pulsars, possess powerful magnetic fields and rotate rapidly, creating extraordinary conditions that remain unparalleled elsewhere in the cosmos.
By employing two of NASA’s X-ray space telescopes, scientists have focused their attention on this particular neutron star and its surrounding magnetic fields.
Referred to as MSH 15-52, the nebula mimics the appearance of a human hand, with the pulsar acting as the “palm” and five ghostly “fingers” extending outward.
NASA’s Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer telescope diligently observed the nebula for an impressive 17 days, marking the longest duration it has focused on a single celestial object since its launch in December 2021.