Space romance: the best places in the Solar System to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Very soon, many lovers around the world will celebrate Valentine’s Day. Some will go to a cafe, some to the movies, some will stay at home, and some will do something more extraordinary and find an exotic place to celebrate the holiday alone with their loved one. Now let’s imagine a future in which space travel will be available to everyone. What parts of the solar system would be best suited for space dates on this day?

Orbital hotel

The most popular (and the cheapest) place for space dates is likely to be hotels in Earth orbit. Their concept has been around for years. However, so far, none of the numerous projects has managed to do beyond concept art. But there is no doubt that sooner or later one of them will be implemented and the first space hotel will open its compartments to guests.

A space hotel as imagined by an artist. Source: Voyager Space

Guests of such a hotel will be able to enjoy the magnificent views of our planet. Boundless oceans, deserts, mountains, lights of night cities — all this can be easily seen through the observation windows with the naked eye.

In addition, guests of space hotels will be able to watch 16 sunrises and sunsets per day. If you add to this the state of weightlessness and the opportunities associated with it, a date in Earth orbit looks like a really, really interesting way to spend Valentine’s Day in space.

Flying in the Venusian clouds

Venus is the most extreme planet in the Solar System. Its surface is heated to a temperature of 500 degrees Celsius, and the pressure there corresponds to the pressure at a depth of a kilometer of water. So we hardly need to explain why the second planet from the Sun doesn’t look too attractive as a place for dating.
Concept of flying settlements and airships in the clouds of Venus. Source: NASA Langley Research Center

But everything changes if you go above the Venusian surface to an altitude of about 50 km. The atmospheric pressure and temperature there are quite similar to those on Earth, which gives us a rather interesting opportunity. If you fill the shell of an airship or balloon with ordinary air, it will float above Venus. This means that in the future, aerial settlements may well appear there, and with them aerial tours, including those for lovers. Flying above the endless clouds can be a very romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one.

On top of the world

In one of the most famous scenes of Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character shouts “I am the king of the world”. Something similar can be done on Mars. All you need to do is climb to the top of Mount Olympus.

Olympus as photographed from orbit by the Mars Express mission. Source: ESA/DLR/FUBerlin/AndreaLuck

Mount Olympus is a supervolcano whose height from the foot to the base is 26 km. So, it is almost three times bigger than Mount Everest! So, the couple who climbed it will literally find themselves on top of the Red Planet. The main thing is to remember to take a more reliable suit and more oxygen. Since the atmospheric pressure at the top of Olympus is only 2% of the pressure on the surface of Mars, the couple in love will actually find themselves in outer space.

Traveling through the rings of Saturn

Saturn is traditionally considered the most beautiful planet in the solar system. And when you look at it, it’s hard to disagree. Saturn has the most magnificent ring system in the entire Solar System. It consists of ice fragments left over from the destruction of one of the planet’s moons. Ice reflects sunlight well, which is why Saturn’s rings look so dazzlingly bright.
Saturn’s rings. Source: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Despite their enormous width (the width of the main part of the rings is several times the diameter of the Earth), the rings are extremely thin. Their thickness is measured literally in hundreds of meters. Now we can only guess how spectacular a picture will open up if we fly close to them. Obviously, you will not see anything comparable in beauty on any other planet. And this is a great argument in favor of sharing such an incredible sight with someone you love.

The worlds of geysers and volcanoes

Geysers are traditionally popular with travelers and tourists. But they can be found not only on Earth but also on other celestial bodies — for example, on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. At its south pole, there are a number of geysers that constantly spew water from the subsurface ocean. They are so active that their emissions have formed a ring around Saturn. You can even fly through them. In the past, the Cassini spacecraft has done this several times, showing that it is completely safe. Is not this a great option to have a date with a little bit of extreme?
The eruption of the Enceladus geysers. Source: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A more exotic option is a visit to Triton. Neptune’s largest moon is geologically active. It has a number of cryovolcanoes that emit nitrogen into its black sky in a spectacular manner.

For those who like to tickle their nerves, an excursion to Jupiter’s moon Io would be the best option, with hundreds of volcanoes on its surface that constantly spew sulfur. Because of its infernal appearance, Io is often compared to hell. The high level of radiation on the satellite’s surface adds an extra “spice” to this date. Because of this, extreme lovers will have to limit themselves to a sightseeing tour from a height.

Cruise on Titan

Many couples in love dream of going on a romantic trip on a cruise ship. But the Earth is not the only body in the solar system where you can organize such a leisure time. There is also Titan.
A ship floating in Titan’s hydrocarbon sea (concept). Source: NASA Glenn/NIAC

Titan is the only moon in the Solar System with a dense atmosphere and a full fluid cycle. It rains and rivers flow on its surface. However, whereas on Earth they are filled with water, on Titan its role is played by a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons, mostly methane and ethane.

There are a number of permanent hydrocarbon lakes near the satellite’s north pole, the largest of which is slightly smaller than the Black Sea. They have their own islands, and ice floes can form there. So, if you build a special ship, you can organize a real sea cruise on it. Of course, you will hardly be able to sunbathe on the deck of such a ship, but against the backdrop of a whole lot of new experiences, it`s not a big loss.

The heart of Pluto

At first glance, small and cold Pluto doesn’t seem like the right place to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But that is until you look at its pictures. After all, Pluto literally has a huge “heart”. We are talking about a region of a characteristic shape, the so-called Tombaugh Regio, whose diameter is 2300 km. A date against the backdrop of a giant cosmic heart — what could be more romantic?
Pluto in its natural colors. Source: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker

A meeting on Pluto itself is also a very interesting option. The dwarf planet has a number of very unusual attractions. There are gigantic nitrogen plains on which icebergs of water ice float, and icy mountains with caps of methane snow on their tops. And yet, although Pluto’s atmosphere is extremely thin, it is still enough to give the sky a blue hue — just like on our Earth.