A celebration of the wonderfully clear skies of the Isle of Man.
In the Isle of Man we have some of the clearest skies in Europe. In 2012, seven Dark Sky sites were identified by the Dark Sky Discovery Network and granted Dark Sky status. A further 19 sites were subsequently granted DSD status in January 2014, making the Isle of Man an area with 26 Dark Sky sites. Manx stargazers can see some amazing sights in our night skies – This Isle of Man stamp issue shows the night sky from four spectacular Manx dark sky locations and some of the constellations that can be seen from the Island through the year.
Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to present this celebration of the wonderfully clear skies of the Isle of Man in collaboration with Dark Sky Discovery.
The Isle of Man now has a total of 26 Dark Sky Discovery sites, which is by far the greatest concentration of such sites in the British Isles. Nineteen which were announced in January 2014, these were in addition to the seven sites that were similarly granted this prestigious status by the Dark Sky Discovery Network based at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh in October 2012.
Dark Sky Discovery status is granted to sites that have spectacular views of the night sky. One of the criteria for Dark Sky status is the ability to see the Milky Way, which is known in Manx as "Raad Mooar re Gorry" or the great way of King Orry. The Isle of Man has many such locations, which have now been formally acknowledged by the DSDN and by many visiting astronomers.
Isle of Man Post Office produced the stamps following consultation with Howard Parkin FRAS of AstroManx and the stunning images on the stamps show the spectacular images of the Manx night skies and feature some of the constellations clearly visible throughout the year from the Islands darker skies.
The four stamps show the night sky from four spectacular Manx dark sky locations, and superimposed on each is one or more of the constellations each season as seen from the Isle of Man.
The 42p stamp shows Orion, one of the most spectacular winter constellations superimposed onto an image taken from Niarbyl. The 164p stamp shows Leo, a spring constellation and the skies from Port Erin, the 182p stamp shows the summer constellation of Cygnus with a spectacular view of the Milky Way as seen from Fort Island and the 230p stamp shows the autumn group showing Pegasus and Andromeda with the sky from Langness.
For further information about the Isle of Man's breath taking Dark Skies visit visitisleofman.com.
|Text||Howard Parkin BSc FRAS|
|Design||Isle of Man Advertising|
|Format||Sheets of 20 Stamps|
|Stamp Size||62.2 x 31.1mm|
|Colours||4 plus metallic|
|Perforations||14 per 2cms|
|Paper||110gms PVA gummed|
|Issue Date||1st September 2014|
Product Code: SN96
Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to mark this rare occasion with a special limited edition postmark cover including three postmarks that show key times of the eclipse, as well as illustrating the moons passage over the sun, and three Dark Sky Discovery stamps from the Dark Sky Discovery stamp issue. The cover is accompanied by an illustrated information card and limited to 1500 items.
Product Code: SN43
This very special Isle of Man Post Office celebration folder, marking the biggest astronomical event of the century, contains an eclipse timeline that records the day and what was seen from the Isle of Man, an exclusive triple postmarked cover personally signed by Astronaut Alan Bean, the 4th Man to walk on the moon, a set of four postcards from the Faroe Islands, one of which is postmarked the 20th March as well as pictures of the eclipse in both the Faroes and UK and accounts of what happened on the day including Alan's moonwalking experiences. A limited edition of 1,000 hand numbered items, available 28 days from the 20th March.
Product Code: SN31
This set of four stamps show four dark sky scenes taken from four of twenty-six Manx Dark Sky sites, awarded the highest rating of ‘Two Stars’ by the Dark Sky Discovery Network. The stars as well as the surround of the stamp are picked out in metallic, resulting in a shimmering finish and an essential collectable for all philatelists and astronomy enthusiasts.
Product Code: SN91
All four stamps produced to celebrate the Isle of Man’s Dark Sky Discovery status are set amongst a starry night sky, complete with a silver foil first day of issue postmark and illustrated information card written by Howard Parkin FRAS of AstroManx.
Product Code: SN41
The set of four stamps of the most spectacular constellations and skies from four Isle of Man Dark Sky sites are presented in this neat four-sided mini-folder containing additional illustrations and information about the constellations each season as seen from the Isle of Man.