Staff Report

This summer, the Postal Service will put out a cool first-of-its-kind Forever stamp. It uses the heat of your finger to change the total solar eclipse stamp image into the Moon.

The Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamp will be issued on Tuesday, June 20 in advance of the August 21 eclipse.

The photos were taken by retired NASA Astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, Arizona. It shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006. You can visit his Website at

A total eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon completely blocks the visible solar disk from view, casting a shadow on Earth. The 70-mile-wide shadow path of the eclipse, known as the “path of totality,” will traverse the country diagonally, appearing first in Oregon (mid-morning local time) and exiting some 2,500 miles east and 90 minutes later off the coast of South Carolina (mid-afternoon local time).  

A total solar eclipse provides us with the only chance to see the Sun’s corona — its extended outer atmosphere — without specialized instruments. During the total phase of an eclipse the corona appears as a gossamer white halo around the black disk of the Moon, resembling the petals of a flower reaching out into space.

Tens of millions of people in the United States hope to view this rare event, which has not been seen on the U.S. mainland since 1979. The eclipse will travel a narrow path across the entire country for the first time since 1918. The path will run west to east from Oregon to South Carolina and will include portions of 14 states. 

The Total Eclipse Forever stamps may be pre-ordered at in early June for delivery following the June 20 nationwide issuance. They will be available in Post Offices nationwide beginning on that day. 

For more information on the Postal Service, visit on,
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