By Hamish Johnston
You can’t have an International Year without a commemorative stamp — so here are a few beauties issued by Canada Post to celebrate this International Year of Astronomy.
The top stamp features the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, which is high on a hill overlooking Saanich, British Columbia.
Not to be confused with the Dominion Observatory in Ottawa, or the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton, the Saanich facility opened in 1918 and its telescope is still used today. The observatory is also home of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics.
The background of both stamps feature photographs of nebulae taken by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, which is perched on top of an dormant volcano — Mauna Kea — in Hawaii. The top is the Horsehead nebula and the bottom is the Eagle nebula.
The bottom stamp also features the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope itself, which is so high up that snow shovels are on hand. A little bit of Canada in Hawaii, I suppose.