Science

Heart-shaped meteorite to be auctioned on Valentine's Day

The 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could be the unique, and costly, Valentine's Day gift of one lover this year.

A rare meteorite shaped like a heart could fetch more than £380,000 at an auction just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Known as the Heart of Space, the meteorite will be put up for sale in an online auction hosted by British auction house Christie’s and is estimated to sell for between 300,000 dollars (£228,000) and 500,000 dollars (£381,000).

The 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite originates from a meteorite shower that struck Siberia on February 12, 1947, one of the largest ever observed.

It collapsed chimneys, shattered windows and uprooted trees as it hurtled through Earth’s atmosphere at more than 30,000 mph.

“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,” said James Hyslop, science and natural history specialist at Christie’s.

“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.”

The auction was originally intended to end on February 12, but it was decided to move it back by two days to coincide with Valentine’s Day.

Heart of Space will be open to bidders from February 6, among 45 lots of valuable meteorites.

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