We’ve all heard of the Heart of the Ocean, now meet the “Heart of Space.”
The perfect gift for an astronomy nerd this Valentine’s Day (if you have a couple of thousand dollars to spare), the Heart of Space meteorite – poetically named for it’s sweet shape – will be auctioned off by Christies on Wednesday 6th February.
The four-and-a-half billion year old space rock fell to Earth in 1947, and was part of the largest meteor shower of the last several thousand years. The meteorite landed in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains in Siberia, and measures nine inches across its widest point and weighs 22lbs.
The meteorite is expected to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000, with Christies describing the rock as “a very rarely seen shape which is the result of the fortuitous cleavage along its crystalline planes.” Err, romantic…
The meteor shower responsible for this rare find was so large it destroyed chimnies, smashed windows and ripped trees from the ground, with speeds of up to 30,000 mph.
James Hyslop, science and natural history specialist at the auction house said: “This meteorite, which is 4.5 billion years old, was part of a giant chunk of iron that broke off from a larger mass in an asteroid belt some 320 million years ago, more than 70 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared.
“‘That breakaway then began wandering through space, until finally encountering Earth.
“This was the biggest meteorite shower of the last several thousand years, and to the onlookers, it must have seemed like the end of the world. It is miraculous that no-one was killed.”
Christies is accepting online bids for the Heart of Space, with the auction ending on 14th February.