With a full solar eclipse coming in August, the U.S. Postal Service is marking the rare event with a new Forever Stamp unlike anything it’s issued before.
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The Total Eclipse Forever stamp changes into an image of the moon when it’s touched, reflecting the fast-moving path of the eclipse, which will race across the continental U.S. for the first time in nearly a century.
The new 49-cent, first-class postage stamp, which features thermochromatic ink technology, will be unveiled June 20 at the University of Wyoming, near the path of the eclipse.
The stamp images, according to the USPS, were taken by Fred Espenak, an astrophysicist, and depict a total solar eclipse in Libya in 2006.
Thermochromatic inks are more vulnerable to UV light, thus enabling the new stamp to give off its special effect. Once the stamp has “cooled” after being touched, it reverts to the original image of the sun.
A total solar eclipse hasn’t been seen on the U.S. mainland since 1979, and it’s been 1918 since one traveled across the entire country.
On the afternoon of Aug. 21, the eclipse will travel across portions of 14 states (including Georgia), covering 2,500 miles in an estimated 90 minutes. The eclipse will be visible across a 70-mile-wide shadow path, or what’s known as a “path of totality.”
The projected path for the eclipse, according to the NASA website, begins in Salem, Ore., then on to Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Casper, Wyo. The route continues over Lincoln, Neb., Kansas City, Mo., and Nashville, Tenn., before ending near Charleston, S.C.
The total eclipse will be visible in northeastern Georgia, and a partial eclipse can be seen in the Atlanta area.