Washington, DC (WLTX) — The Postal Service will soon release a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes when you touch it. The Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamp, which commemorates the August 21 eclipse, transforms into an image of the Moon from the heat of a finger.
A total solar eclipse will be visible from coast to coast on August 21, 2017, according to NASA. It will be the first total eclipse visible only in the USA since the country was founded in 1776. It will also be the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the entire country in 99 years, NASA says. The path will run west to east from Oregon to South Carolina and will include portions of 14 states. Not since 1970 has there been an opportunity to see a total solar eclipse in such easily accessible and widespread areas of the nation.
In the first U.S. stamp application of thermochromic ink, the Total Solar Eclipse stamps will reveal a second image. Using the body heat of a thumb or fingers, the eclipse image will reveal an underlying image of the Moon. The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools.
The stamp images are photographs taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, also known as "Mr. Eclipse," of Portal, AZ. One shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006. The other is a photograph of the Full Moon. Art director Antonio Alcalá of Alexandria, VA, designed the stamp.
The Postal Service will issue the unique new Forever stamp on June 20, 2017, with the First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will taking place at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming in Laramie, which will be celebrating the summer solstice.
The Total Eclipse of the Sun stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp, which is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.
The social media hashtag for the new stamp is #EclipseStamps.