Majestic 'Hand of God' appears over Portugal skies, 2 years after similar image was spotted in space

(Screenshot/YouTube/WEBZ.TV)The 'Hand of God' cloud formation over the skies of Madeira, Portugal as it appeared on Jan. 25, 2016.

The "Hand of God" is back.

On Monday, surreal clouds appeared over the skies of Portugal that resembled a giant "fist from Heaven" with a hand holding a fireball.

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/McGill)This 'Hand of God' image might look like an X-ray from the doctor's office, but it is actually a cloud of material ejected from a star that exploded. The image was captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

In January 2014, another version of the "Hand of God" appeared—not as cloud formations in the sky but as a celestial object in outer space.

The awe-inspiring cloud formation, caught in the reds and golds of Monday's sunrise, was captured on film by weather blogger Rogerio Pacheco, 32, as it dominated the skyline across the island of Madeira, the Daily Mail reported.

He has since shared the photo online after posting it on his blog.

"As soon as I saw the sky, I was immediately intrigued and I just had to grab my camera to take photo," Pacheco said.

Amazed viewers have dubbed the sight the "Hand of God." Some likened the figure to a flaming fist of fury while others saw in it the iconic comet featured in the classic video game "Final Fantasy VII."

The image joins other dramatic heavenly "signs" spotted this year in the United States and reported by WND.

The heavenly "signs" were the sunrise and sunset images in the sky resembling angels and crosses at locations ranging from Hawaii to Michigan and New York. Those images immediately went viral.

Two years ago, the "Hand of God" was also spotted by NASA's space telescope.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory captured the image of a celestial object coloured green and red that resembles the "Hand of God," according to Space.com.

The science news source said the cosmic phenomenon was produced when a star exploded and ejected an enormous cloud of material.

Space.com explained that the image depicts a pulsar wind nebula, produced by the dense remnant of a star that exploded in a supernova. What's left behind is a pulsar "which spins around 7 times per second blowing a wind of particles into material ejected during the star's death throes."

"As these particles interact with nearby magnetic fields, they produce an X-ray glow in the shape of a hand," the source said.

Scientists could not tell whether the ejected material actually assumed the shape of a hand, or whether its interaction with the pulsar's particles made it appear that way.

The "Hand of God," according to experts, is an example of pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon of perceiving familiar shapes in random or vague images.

Other common forms of pareidolia include seeing animals or faces in clouds, or the man in the moon, they say.

Despite its supernatural appearance, the Hand of God was produced by natural astrophysical phenomena, the experts add.

Lifestyle