Remains of a star: the “bones of a ghostly cosmic hand” revealed by NASA – Le Journal de Montréal

It’s a Halloween-worthy image captured by NASA scientists using space telescopes that revealed the “bones of a ghostly cosmic hand” nearly 16,000 light-years from Earth.

This hand did not appear in the sky by chance. In fact, it is the remnant of a giant star that collapsed about 1,500 years ago when it ran out of nuclear fuel, NASA said in a press release.

After its collapse, the star became a dense neutron star that rotates and has strong magnetic fields, also known as pulsars.

The image was captured by focusing two X-ray space telescopes on this star to learn more about how a pulsar funnels particles into space. It is therefore one of the pulsars that created this hand shape.

“The charged particles are produced by the Californian who led the study.”

Scientists from the American space agency studied this nebula for 17 days. This is the first time since December 2021 that NASA has observed an object for such a long period of time.

“We all know X-rays as a medical diagnostic tool for humans,” noted study co-author Josephine Wong, also of Stanford. “Here we use X-rays in a different way, but they again reveal information that would otherwise remain hidden from us.”