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US Postal Service Reveals Touch-Sensitive Forever Stamp To Commemorate Great American Eclipse

28 April 2017, 10:12 am EDT By Andrew Norman Tech Times
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The United States Postal Service announced that it would launch a new touch sensitive stamp to commemorate the August 21 total solar eclipse. Thermochromic ink would be used for the stamp, which transforms when heat is applied.  ( United States Postal Service )

A total solar eclipse is set to occur on August 21 and people in the United States would be able to view the rare celestial event. Excitement is high among people of all ages as they gear up for the celestial spectacle.

The United States Postal Service too has joined in on the excitement. On April 27, the USPS announced that it would soon launch a special touch-sensitive stamp, which commemorates the total solar eclipse.

The Total Solar Eclipse Forever Stamp

The first-of-its-kind stamp will feature a touch-sensitive image, which will change its appearance when one touches it. In its normal state, the stamp dubbed The Total Solar Eclipse Forever Stamp will display a black sphere. However, when someone touches the stamp, the heat from the finger will change the image to that of a moon.

The image on the innovative stamp is a photograph and was clicked by astrophysicist Fred Espenak. It captures a total solar eclipse that was visible from Jalu, Libya, in 2006. Antonio Alcalá, an art director, designed the Forever stamp.

The stamp makes use of a special ink known as thermochromic ink, which transforms when heat is applied. This is what causes the stamp image to transform when it absorbs the heat from a person's fingers. The stamp will revert to its original state once it cools down.

The Total Solar Eclipse Forever Stamp will be launched on June 20. However, thermochromic ink deteriorates when it comes in contact with UV rays and sunlight. Therefore, the USPS will also sell a special envelope designed to hold the unique stamp, which will ensure that its touch sensitivity lasts longer.

"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 USPS website notes.

The USPS did not share the price for the commemorative stamp.

The Total Solar Eclipse

The celestial event which is supposed to take place on August 21 can be viewed best from South Carolina and Oregon. Portions of 14 other states in the country would be able to get a glimpse of a partial eclipse and not the full one.

The last total solar eclipse that was visible over the United States coast to coast took place in 1918. Due to the almost 100-year gap, the latest celestial event has been dubbed the Great American Eclipse. During the event, the moon will block the sun for around one and half hours, although the window for catching a total eclipse is relatively smaller.

Many people have already booked hotels in anticipation of catching a glimpse of the celestial occurrence and the commemorative Total Solar Eclipse Forever Stamp is a reflection of how eagerly people are awaiting the event.

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