New stamps feature Webb images of the cosmos!

Stamps feature Webb images: Long large tendrils of cloud-like gas in space, with white text labels and zigzag outline around image.
Two new stamps feature James Webb Space Telescope images of our beautiful universe. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) released them on January 22, 2024. Here’s the first one, showing the iconic Pillars of Creation as seen by Webb. This region of space was made famous by a Hubble image in 1995. It’s about 6,500 light-years from Earth. Image via NASA/ ESA/ CSA/ Space Telescope Science Institute/ USPS.

The James Webb Space Telescope launched on Christmas Day in 2021. In late January, 2022, it reached L2, the 2nd sun-Earth Lagrange point, some 932 thousand miles (1.5 million km) from Earth. In the two years since then, Webb has been moving along with Earth as we orbit the sun, while gazing outward toward the cosmos. The flow of images from the new space telescope has been nothing short of phenomenal. Now the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is joining in the fun. The USPS has released two new Priority Mail stamps created with Webb images. The stamps show two favorite images, the Cosmic Cliffs and Pillars of Creation. See them here!

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2 new stamps feature Webb images of the cosmos

Nicola Fox is the associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. She said:

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is the perfect intersection of science, engineering and art as it reveals the greatest secrets of our cosmos through the beautiful images it captures. With these stamps, people across the country can have their own snapshot of Webb’s captivating images – and the incredible science they represent – at their fingertips, and know that they, too, are part of this ground-breaking new era in astronomy.

Cosmic Cliffs

The first stamp is a Priority Mail Express stamp. It features the Cosmic Cliffs in the Carina Nebula, which is 7,600 light-years from Earth. NASA released it in July 2022. And notably, it was one of the first full-color Webb images that NASA released. In it, we can see young stellar nurseries, where new stars are being born. Moreover, it also reveals some stars, previously hidden by gas and dust, which had not been seen before.

Wave-like shape of glowing yellowish gas, with tenuous blue gas above it and many bright foreground stars.
This new stamp features the Cosmic Cliffs in the Carina Nebula, roughly 7,600 light-years away. Image via NASA/ ESA/ CSA/ Space Telescope Science Institute/ U.S. Postal Service.

Pillars of Creation

The second stamp features the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, 6,500 light-years away. The striking tall pillars are filled with gas and dust. Indeed, previous images from the Hubble Space Telescope made this cosmic formation famous. And now we can see it even better!

These aren’t, however, the first Webb-related stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. In 2022, a Forever stamp was also issued. But, unlike these two new stamps, that one showed an artist’s illustration of the Webb in space. And what previous NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana said then, still holds true now:

When anyone who uses these stamps looks at this telescope, I want them to see what I see: its incredible potential to reveal new and unexpected discoveries that help us understand the origins of the universe, and our place in it. This telescope is the largest international space science program in U.S. history, and I can’t wait to see the scientific breakthroughs it will enable in astronomy.

To be sure, Webb has changed our view of the universe, as Hubble did before it. Its infrared “eyes” have revealed never-before-seen details in galaxies, star clusters, nebulae and planets.

Do you like the new stamps? Will you be buying any? Let us know in the comments!

Bottom line: Two new stamps feature Webb images of our amazing universe. The U.S. Postal Service issued them on January 22, 2024, to help celebrate Webb’s incredible mission.

Learn more about Webb


Read more: Wow! Whirlpool galaxy in stunning new Webb images

Read more: Webb discovers its 1st exoplanet

January 31, 2024

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