5 beguiling heart-shaped objects found in space | Space

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From a teddy bear on Mars to Godzilla in a gas cloud, it’s easy to see pretty much anything you want on the seemingly infinite canvas of space. And this year, on Valentine’s Day, we choose to see love.

Heart-shaped objects are plentiful across the cosmos and come from a variety of sources — from extreme events like galactic collisions to the random side effects of brightly burning stars. Here are five of our favorites.

1. Hearts collide

Pictured is the pair of galaxies cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, known as the Antennae Galaxies. (Image credit: NASA Goddard)

The laws of attraction are a bit simpler in space than on Earth: In space, the more massive you are, the more stuff you’re likely to attract. In this photo captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, two galaxies of roughly similar size show off their mutual attraction as they slowly but spectacularly collide, twisting each other into an iconic heart shape during a protracted, gravitational tug-of-war.

The two galaxies — located 60 million light-years from Earth and named the Antennae galaxies, or NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 — are in the midst of a long courtship that began about a billion years ago and may last another billion years still, according to NASA. By the time the two galaxies finally become one, billions of new stars will have formed from the pile-up of interstellar gas clouds within the entwined objects.

Some of those stellar newborns are already visible in the long streams of gas extending from the bottom of the galaxies that gave the Antennae galaxies their names.

Related: ‘Mind-blowing’ James Webb telescope images reveal 19 spiral galaxies in the greatest detail ever seen

2. Heart of stone

Space rocks can take on a variety of familiar shapes, depending on the angle from which you view them. Rubber duckies, spinning tops and peanuts are…

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