May 25, 2024


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“Hand of God” reaches towards the galaxy? The dark nebula was photographed by the Dark Energy Camera

“Hand of God” reaches towards the galaxy? The dark nebula was photographed by the Dark Energy Camera

This is a view of the comet-like ball CG 4 (center of image) and its surroundings, which lies approximately 1,300 light-years away in the direction of the constellation Tumo in the southern sky. CG 4 is also called the “Hand of God” because it looks like a hand emerging from a molecular cloud. The “hand of God” appears to be extending toward a single spiral galaxy, but this galaxy called ESO 257-19 happens to be visible in this position, and is much sharper than CG 4. It lies 100 million light-years away.

[▲ الكرة الكروية الشبيهة بالمذنب “CG 4” والمناطق المحيطة بها (مصدر الصورة: CTIO/NOIRLab/DOE/NSF/AURA؛ معالجة الصور: TA Rector (جامعة ألاسكا أنكوراج/NOIRLab التابعة لـ NSF)، D. de Martin & M. Zamani ( NOIRLab التابع لـ NSF)) ]]

The comet sphere is the HII region(※)It is a type of Bock's spheroid, an isolated dark nebula seen in the United States, so named because it resembles a comet with an extended tail.

*…HII region: A region emitting red light from hydrogen ionized by ultraviolet radiation emitted by a massive star. It is also called the ionized hydrogen region.

According to the National Science Foundation's (NSF) National Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory (NOIRLab), which released the image, CG 4's dust-rich “head” is 1.5 light-years in diameter, while its “tail” is 1.5 light-years in diameter and about 8 Light years. In addition, a young star (young stellar object: YSO, young stellar object) has been observed before it becomes a main sequence star near the 'head'.


This image was created based on observational data from the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), an observing device mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. As its name suggests, DECam is a monitoring device developed for the main purpose of searching for dark energy. It has a resolution of about 520 megapixels and an area equivalent to about 14 full moons (3 square degrees) that you can shoot at once. Observations for the original purpose of dark energy research were conducted from 2013 to 2019.

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The first image was published by NOIRLab on May 6, 2024.


  • NOIRLab – Dark Energy Camera spies cometary globe as it reaches the stars

Editorial/Editing/Suray Department