United States Postal Service Celebrates Eclipse
The Dawson Springs Post Office will host an event on Wednesday, June 21, at 9:00 a.m. to commemorate the release of a first-of-its-kind stamp. The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamps will be revealed during a special ceremony at the 101 West Ramsey Street location.
The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can purchase the stamps and obtain a special cancellation after the ceremony.
In the first U.S. stamp application of thermochromic ink, the Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamps will reveal a second image. Using the body heat of your thumb or fingers and rubbing the eclipse image will reveal an underlying image of the Moon. The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools. The stamp image is a photograph taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, AZ, that shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006. The back of the stamp pane provides a map of the August 21 eclipse path and times it may appear in some locations. Visit NASA’s website to view detailed maps of the eclipse’s path.
Postmaster Brenda Knoth is enthusiastic about the new stamps and the activities planned in Dawson Springs for the eclipse on August 21. “It is fitting the Postal Service will release this unusual and exciting stamp in advance of the once-in-a-lifetime eclipse,” she said.
The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamps may be pre-ordered at usps.com/shop in early June for delivery following the June 20 nationwide issuance.
A total eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon completely blocks the visible solar disk from view, casting a shadow on Earth. The 70-mile-wide shadow path of the eclipse, known as the “path of totality,” will traverse the country diagonally, appearing first in Oregon (mid-morning local time) and exiting some 2,500 miles east and90 minutes later off the coast of South Carolina (mid-afternoon local time).
A total solar eclipse provides us with the only chance to see the Sun’s corona — its extended outer atmosphere — without specialized instruments. During the total phase of an eclipse the corona appears as a gossamer white halo around the black disk of the Moon, resembling the petals of a flower reaching out into space.
Art director Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, designed the stamp.
The Total Eclipse of the Sun stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp, which is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.