WASHINGTON (MEREDITH) -- On Tuesday, the United States Postal Service will release a special edition Forever U.S. stamp featuring a solar eclipse image. This is in preparation for the Great American Eclipse on August 21, 2017. The stamp transforms the solar eclipse image into the Moon from the heat of a finger.
“With the release of these amazing stamps using thermochromic ink, we’ve provided an opportunity for people to experience their own personal solar eclipse every time they touch the stamps,” says Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Jim Cochrane. “As evidenced by this stamp and other amazing innovations, the Postal Service is enabling a new generation to bridge the gap and tighten the connection between physical mail and the digital world.”
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 and 90 minutes later off the coast of South Carolina (mid-afternoon local time) passing through portions of 14 states.
This stamp image is a photograph taken by retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak who is considered to be one of the world’s leading authorities on total solar eclipses, now with 27 under his belt.
The photograph shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006.
“I’m honored to have my images on this unique stamp. But more importantly, the stamp will spread the news about America’s great eclipse to many more people than I could ever reach,” said Espenak, who began collecting eclipse stamps after witnessing his first as a teenager. “A total eclipse of the Sun is simply the most beautiful, stunning and awe-inspiring astronomical event you can see with the naked eye — but you’ve got to be in the 70-mile-wide path of totality that runs across the nation from Oregon to South Carolina. So where will you be on August 21?”
According to the USPS, this is the first U.S. stamp application of thermochromic ink, the Total Solar Eclipse 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 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.
Click Here to learn more about the Forever stamp release.