17:45 By Vishnu Chandrasenan

Science and Religion are often at crossroads with each other. People often say that those are two subjects that will never really unite. But miraculously, a NASA provided image opens speculation of something extremely unique. Today, I bring to you the story of that coincidence. 

Is religion and science different? Or are they fundamentally the same? I always feel the latter is more true. A religious spiritual seeker and a scientific seeker are not two different entities, they are merely two forms of the same eternal quest that man is subjected to. A scientific seeker will search for answers to the very source of his questions, in the outer existence of nature. Whereas, a religious spiritual seeker will search for answers to the very source of his questions, in the inner realms of his consciousness. One look outwards, another look inwards, but they are ultimately travelling in the same boat in the same direction. 
Away from all the insignificant brawl between Science and God, I would today like to tell you a story. A story not many may believe in, but it is beautifully giving wings to an amazing possibility, an opportunity to believe that Science and God do not contradict, but they amazingly coexist.

July the 23rd, 1999. NASA made history by launching one of its greatest observatories ever, called The Chandra X-ray Observatory, named after Nobel Prize winning Indian-American astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. That launch was the beginning of a legacy of deep space X-ray astronomy. Out of the 25 landmark photographs and findings captured by Chandra X-ray observatory, I today bring to you the most miraculous one ever. NASA scientist gave it the quintessential name, “THE COSMIC HAND OF GOD”.

On April 3, 2009, NASA released a Chandra Observatory taken image of a rapidly spinning neutron star, 20 km in diameter, emitting exorbitant amounts of X-rays into an area spanning 150 light years around it. The pulsar, as it is called, is located at a distance of 17,000 light years away from our planet. After a quick search in the extremely huge NASA public archives, I grabbed the image of B1509, as this pulsar came to be known. X-rays, which are not in the visible spectrum, cannot be seen by human eyes. Hence, the scientists gave a random colour coding to represent X-rays on paper. They decided that the lowest energy X-rays will be shown as Red, medium energy ones as Green and strongest energy rays as Blue. What resulted was in the culmination of this image that you see:

NASA image of the neutron star, 17000 light years away from Earth

Being born into an amazing Hindu family, it was natural for me to believe an astonishing prospect hidden into this image. If you can look closely enough, you can see the image of a hand, albeit it’s blue in colour. We can also closely observe the fiery reddish orange colour on top of what represent the fingers. 

Take a quick detour to Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, and Text 8:

prakrtim svam avastabhya 
visrjami punah punah 
bhuta-gramam imam krtsnam 
avasam prakrter vasat 

The Supreme Godhead Lord Maha Vishnu proclaims:

The formless whole cosmic order is under Me. By my will the universe is manifested again and again, and by My will it is annihilated at the end.

The Vishnu Sahasranama describes Maha Vishnu as the All-Pervading essence of all beings, the master of, and beyond, the past, present and future. One who supports, sustains and governs the Universe and originates and develops all elements within.

Maha Vishnu in Anantha Shayana. Observe the Sudharshana Chakra in His right hand.

Now if we re-look at the NASA image, the hand is deep blue. So is the color of Maha Vishnu’s skin. The colour above the hand is feisty red or yellow. Miraculously, the color of the Sudarshana Chakra, the master enemy annihilator of Maha Vishnu also has the same color  It is circular revolving, so it is in the image as well. Is it the omnipotent hand of Maha Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe that was found 17000 light years away from us? 

MIRACULOUS COINCIDENCE: The selection of red, green and blue color by the scientists was indeed random, but the distribution of the X-rays in the color image to form a hand that exactly matches our description isn't  We can look at the image a thousand times and still ponder at the amazing acuteness. 

NASA officials, even though they termed this image as “the cosmic hand”, obviously did not respond to the amazing possibility that could be hidden in it. But that is not our question of interest here. The significant point is how our so called belief coincidentally matched with a large scale scientific observation.

Definitely, whatever I pointed out is not one religion centric, but it is a punch in our face that says Science and Religious Belief is ultimately travelling together, not in a collision course as we may presume. The sheer brilliance of this image manages to inspire me every time I look at it. For all those who want to further study about the authenticity of this image and its technical parameters, you are invited to come here: 

NASA Link: A Young Pulsar Shows its Hand

The unison of science and religion is the ultimate feeling that each one of us has to experience. Leaning to either sides is not less entertaining, but you are only missing an even bigger experience!


  1. Vrushank Chawda17 March 2014 at 09:24

    Like a train travel over a two rails parallel. One rail is Science and other is God both parallel. Although it has been tested several times for possible failure, it is in Gods hand whether the train will travel safe or fall aside


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