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NASA's tribute to Prince? A purple nebula

NASA paid its respects to Prince with a gorgeous space image that recalled the late musician's most famous album, "Purple Rain."

"A purple nebula, in honor of Prince, who passed away today," NASA officials tweeted Thursday along with the photo, a composite view of the Crab Nebula that combines imagery from the agency's iconic Hubble Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory.

The Crab Nebula, which lies about 6,500 light-years from Earth, is a supernova remnant -- a structure shaped by the explosive death of a massive star. Such stars burn incredibly brightly and die young, so NASA's photo tribute seems doubly appropriate: Prince, lauded as one of the most talented and influential musicians of his generation, was just 57 when he died.

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