Building on the momentum of the historic announcement that South Africa would become home to the world's largest and most powerful radio telescope, the SKA, the South African Post Office has launched a stamp series that celebrates South Africa's role in astronomy.
The stamp series was launched at the Johannesburg Observatory on 5 June 2012. Speaking at the launch Johan van Wyk, senior manager of Philatelic Services for the Post Office said the stamps tell the story about how South Africa has gained substantial traction in the field of astronomy. "This extraordinary set of stamps illustrates the power of looking through space at an endless universe." Eleven different designs
Artist Marcus Neustetter designed the stamps, which feature eleven different designs. Included in the featured stamps are The Radio Astronomy Observatory; The Southern African Large Telescope; The Sumbandila Satellite; The Karoo Array Telescope; and The South African Astronomical Observatory.
Neustetter, who has a special interest in the topic, did extensive research for this task. "The intention of the stamp artworks is to capture the intangible and magical elements of astronomy and to find a way to illustrate and translate this through visual representation," Neustetter explained.
"The individual stamps are however, not just a representation, but an attempt to stimulate the imagination of the public about the wonder that accompanies the exploration of unknown space," he added.
The SA Post Office have produced 30 000 of these stamp sheets which will be available via www.epostal.co.za
and Post Offices countrywide.