#A to Z Challenge: Heavenly bodies on stamps

AtoZ April2015Challenge

H is for heavenly bodies !

I have always been fascinated with heavenly bodies and the stories different cultures all over the world have about the night sky. They teach us about our history, geography, astronomy, the origins or the beginnings of our world, and our race. I have observed in many folk tales, we discover how we, humans, struggle to find our place in the universe and in the world we live in.

Here are two of my favourite stamps:

Botswana's Sky at Night: The Moon and the women of Setsana.
Botswana’s Sky at Night: The Moon and the women of Setsana.

References to the moon are ubiquitous in local cultures. This stamp depicts a Setswana group of women who, it is said, bring a gentle light to the home, unlike the oppressive heat of the sun. The lunar waxing and waning also coincides with monthly fortunes, the waxing moon being U-shaped, carries problems and diseases, whereas the waning moon spills theses misfortunes on the people. Here the moon is accompanied by the recent concatenation with Jupiter and Venus. “Maphatlalatsane”, the brightest celestial object after the sun and moon. (Source)

This is the complete set of Botswana’s Sky Night series issued in 2009:

From left to right: The Southern Cross and four giraffes; the meteorite and shamans shooting arrows; the solar eclipse and the magical lions; and lastly, the moon with a group of Setsana women.
From left to right: The Southern Cross and four giraffes; the meteorite and shamans shooting arrows; the solar eclipse and the magical lions; and lastly, the moon with a group of Setsana women.

The second one came from Finland, a beautiful black and white Europa-themed stamp:

europa-astronomy-stamp

The year 2009 was declared as the International Year of Astronomy. The theme year was endorsed by the UN and organised by the International Astronomical Union, with the slogan, The Universe – Yours to Discover. Here’s the complete set of stamps depicting a fantasy landscape with lakes and different heavenly bodies.

Imaged nicked off GoogleImages.
Imaged nicked off GoogleImages.

The stamp on the left bears a comet on its left side, accompanied by a lunar eclipse. The large planet shown on the stamp on the right is Saturn. I like Saturn the most because it looks more than just a lump of rock. It is amazing to see these heavenly bodies above us and with the help of modern technology, we can also see those that are in the far, far side of the universe. Imagine a starry night, or a moon-lit night, one can’t help but wonder about life and the vastness of the universe. It never fails to give me shivers, in a positive kind of way. Now, imagine seeing them up close!

Sunday Stamps 013: Twins

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Happy Easter, everybody.
This week’s theme for Sunday Stamps is anything you wish… and  here is mine:

 

A definitive stamp issued in September 2002 by the Česká Pošta (Czech Post). Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac, according to astrology. Geminis are a mix of the yin and the yang, and thus, they are represented perfectly by the Twins. People born between May 22 – June 21 are born under the zodiac sign of Gemini. Although, recently, there was a report that zodiac signs have changed due to the changes in Earth’s alignment. And because this of, my zodiac sign is now Pisces, and not Aries. Go check this link to see if yours has changed as well.

More about this sign here in Wikipedia.

Sunday Stamps 003: PoGOLite in outer space

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I have to admit I took a peek at Viridian’s blog first  before deciding what to post for this week’s Sunday Stamps. Having missed two themes successively, this week I made sure my entry fits the theme.

Anyhow, here is my entry. I think a lot of astronomy enthusiasts were happy when the following stamp was issued by the Swedish Postal Office in January 2009 marking the International Year of Astronomy:

The stamp features the direction or path the PoGOLite gondola took as it zoomed off in space in August 2010 for a pathfinder mission in space. PoGOLite is a light-weight Polarized Gamma-ray Observer experiment designed to measure the polarization of soft gamma rays in the outerspace. The PoGOLite gondola lifted off from Estrange, Sweden  six months ago, and, I wonder if significant data were already collected and being studied now back here on Earth.  More about the PoGOLite here: http://www.particle.kth.se/pogolite/.  It’s amazing what our scientists can do now. If modern science can now conduct more advanced studies in the outer space, surely there is no reason why cures for all forms of cancer and other deadly diseases could  not be discovered sooner than soon.

Till next Sunday Stamps. Ta-ta.

Ciao da una bellisima Citivella Casanova!

The beautiful provioncial town of Citivella Casanova is located in Pescara and home to the wonderful Renaissance Church of Santa Maria della Cona. It is a small town that sits on a hill about 400metres above sea level.
Citivella Casanova has Roman origins and, in medieval documents, was referred to as the Civitellia dell’abbazia, or Abbey’s Civitella.
This is such a beautiful, green landscape of rural Italia. Civitella Casanova offers tourists a pleasant holiday experience, immersed in nature and history. No wonder local and foreign tourists, like the sender of this postcard, flock to see and stay for extended periods of time in this charming little town. Finding accommodations here is amazing, she told me. If you don’t like to stay in hotels, the choices for villas with everything you ever dreamed about are everywhere – stone-houses with breathtaking mountain views, that  also come with rural tranquility. You know, just like those nice vacation homes that she and her husband rented during their US holiday. 
Although the postcard shows the Italian town, the postcard was sent from the Spanish town of Castellon
The stamp above, featuring the Centro Astronomic de Yebes (Yebes Centre of Astronomy, in Guadalajara)  is a self-adhesive stamp and one of the two stamps in the Ciencias de la Terra Y del Universo (Sciences of the Earth and Universe) series issued by the Oficina de Correos Españoles (Spanish Post Office) in February 2007.

From the beautiful town of Orebro to beyond the outer space

I’m slowly getting back into the blogging groove and, if my postcards could only speak, they’d be yelling “about time!” gleefully! 

Today’s postcard is from Örebro, Sweden, sent by my friend Macelia who, along with their then one-year-old son, accompanied her husband who was taking PhD courses at  Örebro University.  She and her tot got free hotel accommodations plus breakfast and were either window-shopping or sightseeing while her husband was attending classes. Lucky them!

The postcard shows a multi-view of the tourist attraction of Örebro, a charming town right at the heart of Sweden. Örebro is smaller compared to Stockholm and, as of 2009, there are about 130,000 people living there. 



There wasn’t any detail on the postcard about which landmarks are shown above so I took the liberty of finding them over the net. Clockwise, from top left: the beautiful town park, Olaus Petri Church, a soccer statue, Örebro City Ha1l, Wadkoping (a delightful area with timber houses dating back from the 18th-19 century that have been preserved), the water tower called svampen (the mushroom) that provides a majestic view of the surroundings, and the famous Örebro Castle (middle) which dates back to the 13th century.

Football must be a big thing in Örebro as they have more than a dozen of professional football teams. No wonder they built a statue of a football  umpire. Must be a popular umpire who is from Örebro? Can anyone give me information on this football umpire wearing a pair of funny-looking  boots please? I’d appreciate any help 🙂



And now for the stamps… astronomy enthusiasts were happy when this stamp (and another one showing a  rendition of a PoGOLite gondola) was issued by the Swedish Post Office in January 2009 to mark the International Year of Astronomy:

The stamp features the direction or path the PoGOLite gondola will take as it takes off in August 2010 for a pathfinder mission in space. PoGOLite is a light-weight Polarized Gamma-ray Observer experiment designed to measure the polarization of soft gamma rays. The PoGOLite is scheduled to lift off from Estrange, Sweden in August 2010 — that’s about three months from now!