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

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 on an online auction hosted by British auction house Christie's and is estimated to sell 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 abandoned 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 huge iron chunk that broke off from a larger mass in an asteroid belt of some 320 million years ago, more than 70 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared," said James Hyslop, a science and natural history specialist at Christie's.

"That breakaway then began wandering through space, until finally encountering Earth.

"This was the largest meteorite shower in the last few thousand years, and to the onlookers, it must have seemed like the end of the world. It's a miraculous that no one was killed. "

The auction was originally intended to end on February 12, but it was decided to move it back for 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.

Press Association

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