The Total Solar Eclipse stamps initially show an image of the sun completely blacked out by the moon. But, a second image is hiding beneath. 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 features an image from a photograph taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, Arizona, that shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006. Espenak also took the photograph of the Full Moon featured on the stamp.
The Total Solar Eclipse stamp commemorates the upcoming solar eclipse on Aug. 21, 2017, which will be seen throughout most of the United States, although the total eclipse will be visible only in a 70-mile wide path that will track across the sky from Oregon to South Carolina, according to predictions. For more information on the eclipse, visit the NASA website or eclipse-dedicated sites, such as Eclipse2017.org. Information also is available from the USPS in the stamp announcement.
The Forever First Class stamps will be released in a First-Day-of-Issue ceremony at 1:30 p.m. June 20 at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
On that day, the university will celebrate the summer solstice, and before the stamp ceremony, visitors may witness an architectural feature of the building where a single beam of sunlight shines on a silver dollar embedded in the floor, which occurs at noon on the summer solstice in the UW Art Museum’s Rotunda Gallery.
This is the first U.S. stamp application of thermochromic ink. The inks are vulnerable to UV light and should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible to preserve this special effect. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service will be offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.