Print fans, philatelists, and astronomy lovers are in for a treat this summer, thanks to the U.S. Postal Service. To commemorate the first total eclipse of the sun to be visible across a swath of the mainland U.S. since 1918, the USPS is releasing a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes appearance when you touch it. Printed using thermographic ink, the photo of the sun responds to the heat of a finger, turning the solar disk into a black moon with only the corona of the sun glowing around it. Pretty cool, huh!
To make this stamp even more fun, the USPS is hosting the first-day-of-issue ceremony at precisely 1:30 p.m. on June 20 at the University of Wyoming Rotunda Gallery in Laramie. As if heralding the summer solstice, the sun is then slated to shine directly down through the solar tube in the Rotunda ceiling casting a single beam of sunlight onto the silver dollar embedded into the Rotunda floor, setting it aglow.
The actual eclipse will occur on August 21 and travel a narrow path from west to east from Oregon to South Carolina. The USPS is using the back of the stamp pane to show a map of the eclipse path and the time it may appear in various locations. The NASA website will also show detailed maps of the eclipse path.
This collectible Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamp is likely to be wildly popular. Don’t miss out. Pre-order a set at usps.com/shop in early June for delivery following the June 20 nationwide issuance.