As if America’s first total solar eclipse in decades wasn’t cool enough, the U.S. Postal Service is making the North America blackout an event to celebrate forever with a new thermochromic stamp. That’s a stamp that changes when you touch it, and we’re so into it.
The new stamp (it goes from a black orb to a full moon with the heat of your finger) celebrates the first eclipse crossing all of North America for the first time since 1918. The big day is Aug. 21 and the stamp will debut on June 20 at an issuing event at the University of Wyoming on the summer solstice. Starting in June you can pre-order the stamps, or you can just wait for them to arrive at post offices starting June 20.
NASA has all the details about the rare (for America, solar eclipses occur fairly regularly around the globe) solar event, but the gist of it is the moon will completely cover the sun. There’ll be a 70-mile-wide shadow of the eclipse, which on its North American path starts in Salem, Oregon, mid-morning and ends in Charleston, South Carolina. It’ll take just over an hour and a half to cross the country.
If you’re right on the path, you’ll see the totality for about two minutes. The max totality is 2 minutes and 40 seconds in Carbondale, Illinois. Elsewhere, if the weather cooperates, anyone off the path will see a partial eclipse as it crosses over your state. That’s still cool and stamp-worthy.
The USPS said the new Forever stamp is the first to use thermochromic ink in an attempt to mimic the perfect alignment of the sun, moon, and Earth. The first stamp of its kind also comes with its own hashtag #EclipseStamps.
The next eclipse with a similar path across the U.S. won’t happen until 2045. Good thing these stamps last forever.