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A Starring Role – Observatories

USA 1948

The iconic stamp shown here, issued by the United States of America in 1948, features Palomar Observatory, located atop Palomar Mountain in north San Diego County, California. Conceived of nearly 100 years ago, the observatory has been in continuous scientific operation since the mid-1930s, and remains productive and relevant today. Palomar is most directly the vision of George Ellery Hale (1868–1938). Despite the challenges of the Great Depression and the Second World War, Hale and a dedicated group of astronomers, engineers, technicians, and builders secured funding, designed the telescopes and site, and created the Observatory in much the same state as it exists today.

Armenia 2009

The subject of the 2009 Europa CEPT stamp issue was Astronomy. Armenia’s contribution was an image of the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO), founded in 1946. “Modern” astronomy in Armenia began with the foundation of the BAO. It is one of the most important astronomical centres in Eastern Europe and the Middle East region in terms of its scientific instruments and achievements. The Observatory was founded in 1946 on the initiative of Viktor Ambartsumian (1908-1996), a famous Armenian scientist. BAO is situated on the southern slope of Mount Aragatz, some 30km Northwest of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

Slovenia 2021

Hurbane Observatory is the oldest and best known Slovak observatory, standing in the middle of a historic park in centre of Hurbanovo, a town in southern Slovakia. Founded in 1871 by Dr. Mikuláš Konkoly-Thege, who bequeathed all his property – house, garden and the equipment of the observatory, to the state in 1899.

Barbados 1988

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Harry Bayley Observatory, Barbados produced this 4-stamp set in 1988. Named after Dr. Harry Bayley (1908-1958), a distinguished Barbadian physician and keen amateur astronomer, Harry Bayley Observatory is the only one of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean. Situated in Clapham, St. Michael, the Observatory was officially opened in 1963, and has been recently refurbished and re-equipped with a 16-inch Meade telescope, and a Lunt 80mm solar telescope, thanks to the generosity of the Sfumato Foundation.

Spain 2004

The Ebro Observatory, located on the outskirts of Roquetes, is a research institute founded in 1904 to study the meteorology and the relations between the Sun and the planet Earth. The continuity and accuracy of its observations for more than a hundred years makes its library-recorded archive incalculably valuable.

Egypt 1978

Egypt is considered as one of the oldest countries whose people studied astronomy. The historical 30 inch Reynolds’s reflector at Helwan was the first large telescope in Africa and the Middle East and the first telescope in the world to record Halley’s Comet in 1909 and 1911. The finder telescope fitted to it was also used by Herschel to observe the Comet in 1835/6. In the 1940s it was decided that a larger telescope was necessary and in 1948 the Egyptian Government placed an order with the British firm Grubb-Parsons for a new 74-inch telescope equipped with both Cassegrain and Coudé spectrographs. The telescope and spectrographs were expected in 1955. However, owing to numerous difficulties, delivery was delayed until 1960. First light was achieved in May 1964.

Naturally, via our PostBeeld.com and freestampcatalogue.com websites you can find literally thousands of stamps with the topic Astronomy and, further, Observatories.


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