The auction was originally intended to end on February 12, the anniversary of when the meteor originally struck the earth. But, according to Christie’s Science and Natural History specialist James Hyslop, “With the arrival of this heart-shaped example, which is undoubtedly among the finest of all aesthetic iron meteorites, how could we not push it back to Valentine’s Day?”
Buy Your Sweetheart A $500K Heart-Shaped Meteorite That Could Have Destroyed Siberia This Valentine’s Day
If you’re still trying to make up for naming a cockroach after your significant other last Valentine’s Day, you can quite literally pay your penance by bidding on a slightly more romantic present.
On an online auction that ends February 14, Christie’s is offering untraditional gift givers “The Heart of Space,” or as LiveScience put it, a heart-shaped meteorite that “almost destroyed Siberia” in 1947.
“A rich caramel patina further accents this splendid meteorite,” Christie’s writes in its romantic description of the iron mass, which is expected to sell between $300,000 and $500,000.
Slightly less romantic is what came before the space rock became a part of Christie’s collection. Specifically when it broke off from a larger mass, hurtled into the atmosphere as a “fireball brighter than the Sun” as part of a mass that “collapsed chimneys, shattered windows and uprooted trees.” The unfortunate event was later commemorated by the Soviet Union in a postage stamp, illustrating what some equated to be “seemingly the end of the world.”
Peter Brown, director of the Center for Planetary Science and Exploration at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, told Space.com that the impact was the equivalent of “10 kilotons TNT.”
If that doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies, who knows what will?
According to Christie’s, this specific rock is one of the “more sought-after smooth, gently scalloped specimens” that broke free from the 320-year-old meteor, which was originally part of a 4.5 billion-year-old iron mass.