STATES CHRONICLE – The long-awaited eclipse on August 21st is still two months away, but people have been preparing for it for a few months now. The U.S. Postal service wants to celebrate the event in a unique way. Today, precisely one day before the summer solstice, the institution will release a special eclipse-themed stamp.
The first stamp using thermochromic ink
The stamp, called Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever, was designed by Antonio Alcalá, and uses thermochromic ink. This means that the image is sensitive to body heat, and changes if you touch it with your finger. Alcalá used a photograph of the total eclipse from March 29th, 2006, captured by Fred Espenak in Jalu, Libya. Espenak is an expert in eclipses and a former NASA astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
This is the first time in the history of the U.S. Postal Service when they use thermochromic ink for the design of a stamp. At first, it will display the black circle of an eclipse. Then, after touching the circle, the body heat will produce a reaction which changes the circle to a moon image. As the moon cools, it will gradually return to the eclipse image.
The stamp will also display the map of the eclipse path
On the back of the stamp, people will find a map depicting the path the eclipse follows and the states where it will be visible. Fourteen states will be able to see it in its ‘totality’. These are South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. At the same time with the summer solstice celebration, the stamp will receive an issuing ceremony held at the Art Museum of University of Wyoming.
Everybody is so excited about this event, since it is the total solar eclipse visible on the territory of the United States since 1979. Espenak’s website, MrEclipse.com, claims that the next total eclipse we will be able to witness will take place on April 8th, 2024.
Image Source: Max Pixel