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NASA wants you to send your special someone an out-of-this-world Valentine this year

While poking around NASA’s website to write my obituary for the Mars Opportunity mission, I stumbled across something that should lift all our spirits: Valentine’s Day cards from outer space!

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Yes, I’m aware that Valentine’s Day is little more than a holiday designed by businesses to sell chocolate, flowers, balloons, and, perhaps most importantly, spark a fight with my ex-girlfriend in 2003 that gave me the conviction to break off the relationship.

Ahem. What are we talking about again? Oh, right.

Valentine’s Day from space

Right now on NASA’s website, you can quickly and easily send your special someone a card with a cool picture from outer space, along with a short personalized note. There are 29 different pictures showing off Mars, Jupiter, the sun, and more!

I sent this cute picture of Galle crater on Mars to my wife:

But I could just as easily have gone with this heart-shaped pit inside the “Tharsis” region, home to massive, ancient volcanoes on Mars:

But there’s also the Hubble Deep Field picture as an option, with each feint point of light being an entire galaxy. You know, if you want to remind yourself and your lover how insignificant humans are.

There’s a hat tip to Beyonce:

And even some fiery options to help set your lover’s heart ablaze:

My wife sent me a screencap of the Valentine she received:

And because her beauty is only eclipsed by her intelligence, she immediately noticed that NASA sent it to two recipients.

… Oops.

(NASA cc’s it to your own email address, no reason to panic!)

Yes, this is cheesy, coming from NASA. And no, I don’t care that it’s cheesy. In fact, I think it’s great.

This is exactly the type of outreach I want to see from NASA. The target audience (besides people like you who read articles about space, of course) is the general population who otherwise doesn’t know much about space. It’s a fun way to show off different pictures NASA has taken, while also tricking people into learning more about our solar system.

On the bottom left-hand corner of each image, there is a link to click to learn more about the picture you’re looking at, and when someone clicks on it, SURPRISE! You’re learning something.

 

Written by Dan Broadbent

Science Enthusiast. Atheist. Lover of cats.

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