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Dark Sky Discovery

Collection Issue Date: 1st September 2014

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.

Issue Information

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.

Technical Information

Text Howard Parkin BSc FRAS
Design Isle of Man Advertising
Photography Ron Strathdee,
Glenn Whorrall
Format Sheets of 20 Stamps
Process Offset Lithography
Printer BDT
Stamp Size 62.2 x 31.1mm
Colours 4 plus metallic
Perforations 14 per 2cms
Paper 110gms PVA gummed
Issue Date 1st September 2014

Collection Products

Isle of Man 2015 Solar Eclipse Special Cover
Isle of Man 2015 Solar Eclipse Special Cover

Product Code: SN96
Product Issue Date: 20th March 2015

To celebrate the 92.8% Solar Eclipse visible from the Isle of Man on 20th March 2015, Isle of Man Post Office is pleased to mark this rare occasion with an exclusive special cover produced in collaboration with the Isle of Man Astronomical Society. It features three stamps from the Dark Sky Discovery issue released in September; each cancelled with a unique postmark for the major stages of the event, and is accompanied by an illustrated information card about the history of eclipses on the Island.

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Dark Sky Discovery Sets and Sheets
Dark Sky Discovery Sets and Sheets

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.

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Dark Sky Discovery First Day Cover
Dark Sky Discovery First Day Cover

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.

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Dark Sky Discovery Presentation Pack
Dark Sky Discovery Presentation Pack

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.

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