Postage Stamps 2020

Visions of the universe - 11th February 2020

Cat’s eye nebula – 2nd

Three thousand light-years away, the Cat's Eye Nebula, a dying star throws off shells of glowing gas.

 

Geysers on Encelades – 2nd

Saturn's moon Enceladus hides a water ocean beneath its icy crust, and it's one of the likeliest candidates to harbor life beyond our own planet. Over 100 geysers have been identified. Some of the water vapor falls back as "snow"; the rest escapes, and supplies most of the material making up Saturn's E ring. According to NASA scientists, the plumes are similar in composition to comets.

 

Pulsars – 1st

Pulsars are rotating neutron stars observed to have pulses of radiation at very regular intervals that typically range from milliseconds to seconds. Pulsars have very strong magnetic fields which funnel jets of particles out along the two magnetic poles. These accelerated particles produce very powerful beams of light

 

Black holes – 1st

A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it.

 

Jupiter’s auroras - £1.55

For the first time ever, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has spotted electrons being fired down into Jupiter’s atmosphere at up to 400,000 volts. That’s an enormous amount of energy that gives rise to the planet’s glowing auroras. These incredibly high voltages, however, are only spotted occasionally — and that’s raising questions about what exactly is behind some of the planet’s most vivid glows at the poles.

Gravitational lensing - £1.55

As the light emitted by distant galaxies passes by massive objects in the universe, the gravitational pull from these objects can distort or bend the light. This is called gravitational lensing.

Strong gravitational lensing can actually result in such strongly bent light that multiple images of the light-emitting galaxy are formed.

Weak gravitational lensing results in galaxies appearing distorted, stretched or magnified. Although difficult to measure for an individual galaxy, galaxies clustered close together will exhibit similar lensing patterns.

 

Comet 67P - £1.60

The European Space Agency made history when a space probe successfully landed on the surface of a comet 500 million km away from Earth.

It is a mission which has been decades in the planning.

Here are some top facts about the probe which was sent to the surface and the comet itself.

Philae lander

  • Travelled 6.4 billion km (four billion miles) to reach the comet
  • Journey took 10 years
  • Planning for the journey began 25 years ago

Comet 67P

  • Is more than four billion years old
  • Has a mass of 10 billion tonnes
  • Is hurtling through space at 18km/s (40,000mph)
  • Is shaped like a rubber duck

 

 

Cygnus A galaxy - £1.60

Cygnus A is a large galaxy that sits in the middle of a cluster of galaxies about 760 million light years from Earth. A supermassive black hole at the center of Cygnus A is rapidly growing as it pulls material swirling around it into its gravitational grasp. During this process, some of this material is redirected away from the black hole in the form of narrow beams, or jets. Such jets can significantly affect how the galaxy and its surroundings evolve.

Video games - 21st January 2020

Miniature Sheet

Elite | 1984 | BBC Micro and Acorn Electron Second Class

Dizzy | 1987 | ZX Spectrum £1.60

Populous | 1989 | Commodore Amiga £1.60

Lemmings | 1991 | Commodore Amiga First Class

Micro Machines | 1991 | Sega Mega Drive £1.55

Sensible Soccer | 1992 | Commodore Amiga First Class

Wipeout | 1995 | Sony Playstation £1.55

Worms | 1995 | Commodore Amiga Second Class