Purple space ‘lightning’ spews from stellar corpse, creating cosmic shock waves (photo, video)

A streak of purple “lightning” sprawls across the cosmos in a gorgeous new image from NASA.

Light and energy twist and turn in an explosive relationship between a stellar corpse known as a white dwarf and a variable red giant star called R Aquarii (R Aqr) orbiting each other out in space. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope captured the energetic objects in a stellar new image that looks like a fiery volcanic cloud with a giant, purple streak of lightning piercing through.