Posted Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at 9:00 AM
Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgement: B. Whitmore (Space Telescope Science Institute) and James Long (ESA/Hubble)/Phil Plait
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today is a holiday you either love or hate, for various and obvious enough reasons. But either way I figure it’s another chance to have some fun with astronomy, so I put together a gallery of a dozen pictures of cosmic cardioids, heart-shaped astronomical objects from near and far. Some are mere meters across, others tens of thousands of light years wide, but all of them are a beautiful and fascinating tribute to that fist-sized organ beating away in your chest.
I also wrote up descriptions of them, because, after all, if we have a holiday to celebrate one organ, why not include another as well? Given it’s from where emotions really flow, who doesn’t love a big, sexy brain?
[P.S. When you’re done, here’s my friend and songstress Kim Boekbinder’s take on the cardiac muscle, called “I Have Your Heart”. You’ll like it.]