Sunday, 10 June 2012

Looking Out Into Space

 I'm going with the astronomy theme for this weeks Sunday Stamps with this se-tenant stamp called 'looking out into space'.  Perhaps it also asks the question of what the universe is expanding into or is it just looping back in a circle. This 1991 Europa stamp was on the theme of  exploration of space and honoured the work of European astronomers at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory which perches on the heights of La Palma in the Canary Islands. In the spirit of co-operation the stamps were designed by Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon.

Another way to observe the skies    
 is by radio telescope, and in 1966  the 'British Technology' set included this view of  the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics which sits on the Cheshire plain like this view
from part of last year's stamp issue of the A to Z of Britain.  I think the older stamp gives more of a feel of the technology of the  telescope but judge for yourself from the webcam

In anticipation of the appearance of Halley's Comet in 1986 the British cartoonist Ralph Steadman was entrusted with the stamp set and came up with a wonderfully 
bewigged Halley streaking through the skies.  The notebook of Edmond Halley (1656-1742) is preserved in all the density of its 180 pages of calculations , geometrical figures and observations in the archives.  All those centuries later
in 1986 saw the probe Giotto approach the comet which was called a "dirty snowball" to collect scientific data. The spaceship was named after the renaissance painter who had observed the comet in 1301 and depicted it as the Star of Bethlehem in his Adoration of the Magi.

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme of Astronomy and scientists.


Marcie said...

The one of Halley's comet is wonderful, as is the one below! What a great selection overall!

Bob Scotney said...

I have the top stamp showing Jodrell Bank's Telescope - the first to pick up signals from Sputnik. Otherwise I have none of those you've shown. All wonderful stamps.

Lisa B said...

Lovely selection, I was surprised how many GB astronomy stamps there are to choose from, though I didn't remember all of them by any means. I looked at the first two you show, and decided that I didn't really 'get it' :), the pair I have are I think still together but not se-tenant, if you see what I mean. I missed seeing most of A-Z stamps, it's a shame there is hardly any mail with stamps now.

viridian said...

I am not sure I 'get' the first set of stamps either, but it got me wondering about 'inner space' in our heads - our imagination. thanks for sharing all these stamps today.

VioletSky said...

I have seen the Jodrell Bank - I was more impressed with its immense size than what it could do (I was young and interested in other things...)

I love the Halley's Comet depiction!

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

Of those, I remember only the two Jodrell Bank stamps. I really liked the A-Z series but when the second half came out with the White cliffs (a near neighbour of mine) they almost sold out and wouldn't let me have more than four.

Helen said...

The Halley's comet stamps are really brilliant. I didn't know about the probe named for Giotto. Really interesting stuff!

Willa @ Postage Journal said...

Thank you for sharing this very informative post. I learned something new today.

My Sunday Stamp entry -Willa @ Postage Journal