New Eclipse Stamp Transforms With a Touch

The U.S. Postal Service is releasing its unique solar eclipse stamp today that change images when touched.

The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever thermochromic ink stamps may be pre-ordered at usps.com/shop in early June for delivery following the June 20 nationwide issuance.

The stamp shows a total eclipse of the sun, but when you touch it the stamp transforms from a black orb into a bright moon.

A total eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon completely blocks the visible solar disk from view, casting a shadow on Earth.

The image used in the stamp was taken by retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak, who is known as "Mr. Eclipse".

In a swath of the country from OR to SC, darkness will reign in the middle of the day for a full two minutes and 40 seconds as the moon slips between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow 70 miles wide. The back of the postal service's stamp sheet will include a map depicting the path of the eclipse. It will have its first-day-of-issue ceremony at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming (UW) in Laramie on Tuesday afternoon, when the university will be celebrating the summer solstice.

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 solar eclipse will occur August 21 across the United States, cutting a swath from OR to SC. June 21, from the Newseum in Washington, DC. The swath of total darkness will cross the southeastern US, including parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and North and SC. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service will be offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.

Ordering First-Day Covers The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation.

475329, Protective Sleeve, 25-cents.

  • Carolyn Briggs