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Space & Astronomy

Dark energy camera captures incredible image dubbed 'God's Hand'

By T.K. Randall
May 14, 2024 · Comment icon 1 comment
Hand of God.
The 'hand' stretches for 1.5 light-years. Image Credit: CTIO/NOIRLab/DOE/NSF/AURA
The remarkable spectacle, known as the CG 4 cometary globule, is situated 1,300 light years from Earth.
Like a gargantuan cosmic hand reaching out across the stars, this remarkable phenomenon was captured on camera by the DECam instrument at the Victor M. Blanco Telescope in Chile.

Situated in the constellation 'Puppis', the 'hand' measures around 1.5 light-years across and has a long tail that measures 8 light-years across.

Officially dubbed CG 4, the phenomenon is what is known as a cometary globule - an extensive cloud of gas and dust in which new stars are forming, but which also happens to resemble a comet's tail, even though it doesn't actually have anything to do with comets at all.
The first time astronomers observed such a formation was all the way back in 1976.

Since then, many have been studied, but there is still much we don't know about them.

Exactly how cometary globules like this one come to form continues to remain a mystery.

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