Astronaut Sends Valentines From Space—in the Form of Heart-Shaped Earth Features

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Feb. 14 2013 6:22 PM

Astronaut Sends Valentines From Space—in the Form of Heart-Shaped Earth Features

Can you see the heart?
Can you see the heart?

Photo by Chris Hadfield via Twitter

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is giving guys around the world a lesson in how to do Valentine’s Day right. Tweeting from the International Space Station, the coolest man off Earth offered up Valentines From Space throughout the day, by a world tour of (vaguely) heart-shaped sights around the globe.

And no matter how sweet a greeting card from CVS is, it can’t match the romance and wonder of Hadfield’s tweet miles above a heart-shaped lagoon.

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Hadfield isn’t the first astronaut to tweet Valentine’s hearts from space. That honor appears to go to Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, who sent a Twitpic of an almost heart-like atoll in 2010. But Hadfield certainly captured the best geological heart so far, and turned the loneliness of space into an emotion-laden form of poetry.

You're the island on the horizon when my heart is out to sea

The world could only make one heart as perfect as yours

Thousands of others followed Hadfield’s lead, sending their tweet nothings to #ValentineFromSpace. (Check it out for a lovely, nerdy collection of space puns. I’m particular to one about exoplanets.)

If cosmic Valentine’s aren’t enough to make you love Hadfield, you might want to check out his collaboration with the Barenaked Ladies. “I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)” was released Tuesday, and it’s the first space-to-Earth musical collaboration. Give it a listen, and if the ISS is passing over your house tonight, why not tweet Hadfield a quick shot of the view from where you stand? For more celestial Valentine's Day treats, check out Phil Plait's roundup of astronomical pictures hearts.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Adam Sneed is a researcher for Future Tense at the New America Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @atsneed.