- Issue date: 23/04/2009
- Printing Process: Offset
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontal)
- Sheet effects: 50
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,62 €
- Print run: 550.000
- Dented: 13 3/4
The member countries of Post Europ devote the Europa 2009 series to the common theme “Astronomy”. The stamp depicts an artistic composition of space with a beam of light. In Spain, the stamp is devoted to the International Year of Astronomy.
The United Nations has declared 2009 as International Year of Astronomy, which in words of the president of the International Astronomical Union “provides all nations the chance to participate in an exciting scientific and technological revolution”. The proposal to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy has been made by the Italian government to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. This Italian physicist and astronomer built a telescope in 1609 which gave way to a scientific revolution that changed the vision of the world. Discoveries such as Jupiter’s satellites, the phases of Venus, the mountains and craters of the moon or the rotation of the Sun over its own axis are some of his discoveries. This year, German astronomer Johannes Kepler described in Astronomía nova the fundamental laws of celestial mechanics. From ancient times, astronomy has been one of the sciences that have had a bigger influence in man’s life, since it has been applied to navigation, agriculture and time measuring. For many centuries its study was limited to the solar system but towards the mid XIX century it underwent a revolution with the application of new space techniques and the development of new equipment such as large telescopes and astronomic observatories enabling the exploration of the Universe in all its magnitude. The celebration of the International Year of Astronomy aims at stimulating worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme "The Universe, Yours to Discover". National Nodes in each country are running activities throughout the year, aimed at establishing collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers, science centres, educators, and science communicators to rediscover the magnificence of the cosmos.