The Solar Eclipse Gets Its Own Postage Stamp

Total Solar Eclipse Stamps Will Reveal Hidden Moon Image: Here's When and How to Get Them

There's a lot of excitement over the solar eclipse set to pass through much of southern Idaho this summer, and now the United States Postal Service is getting in on it. Today, precisely one day before the summer solstice, the institution will release a special eclipse-themed stamp. The path will run west to east from OR to SC. Weather permitting, anyone in North America can see August's partial eclipse, including those in D.C., according to NASA. As the moon cools, it will gradually return to the eclipse image.

In the first US stamp application of thermochromic ink, the Total Solar Eclipse stamps will reveal a second image.

The stamp, which will be unveiled at the University of Wyoming with NASA scientists in attendance, will be available for sale nationwide starting Tuesday. The post office is encouraging people use the hashtag #EclipseStamps to share images on social media.

The panelists will provide important safety and travel information about the eclipse, as well as discuss scientific studies that will take place during the rare celestial event. The photograph shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, in March 2006.

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This eclipse is going to be a huge deal: it will be the first such event to be visible from anywhere inside the continental United States since 1979, but it will also span the entire country, with a path of totality that stretches from OR to SC, which has not occurred since all the way back in 1918. "So where will you be on August 21?"

Angela Des Jardins, director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium at MSU, will speak alongside top officials from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Science Foundation and others at the Washington D.C. event, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (1 p.m. EDT).

Take before and after photos of the stamp pane with a group of friends or children placing their thumbs on the black disc of the eclipse to reveal the moon.

The stamp is the first ever to feature thermochromic ink, which changes color when heated. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service is offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.

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