The Postal Service is releasing special Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamps

These special stamps have a first-time one-of-a-kind feature
By | Published: April 27, 2017 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
A side-by-side comparison of the total solar eclipse heat-responsive stamps. The left is the eclipse before touching the stamp, the right is the exposed Moon after touching the stamp.
©2017 USPS

Stamp collectors and astronomers alike, mark your calendars for June 20, 2017, when a special eclipse stamp will be released.

In honor of the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse, the United States Postal Service is releasing this special, first-of-its-kind Forever stamp. According to the press release, the stamp will feature an eclipse image from retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak, but the coolest part is the heat-responsive feature.

The stamp will initially feature a total solar eclipse image from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006, but if you hold a finger on top of the stamp, an image of the Moon will be revealed in its place. This responsive stamp is the first time the USPS has ever used ink that respond to body heat.

The eclipse will run west to east from Oregon through South Carolina on August 21. Duration of totality with vary according to locations, but maximum duration will last 2 minutes and 41 seconds in Illinois.