June 2022 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Astronomy Study Unit! Our article, "The Astronomy Study Unit of the American Topical Association Celebrates 50 Years!" appears in the March/April 2022 issue of Topical Time (pp 68-71).

 

 

 

 

 

A condensed version of the Topical Time article can be seen here.

Check out ASU's Top 10 astrophilately stamps in 2021!

The purpose of the Astronomy Study Unit is to collect and study philatelic material portraying the various aspects of astronomy, solar system, astrophysics, astronomers, and related subjects, and to communicate this knowledge to unit members and other interested persons. Membership info click here.  Issue #118 of Astrofax (Vol. 30, Issue 2, Summer 2022) is now available for members. If you did not get your issue, contact Leonard Zehr. If you want to become a member and receive Astrofax, click here. For a sample issue of the Astrofax, click here. The 118th issue features an article on the 50th Anniversary of the Astronomy Study Unit and an article on spacecraft exploration of Mars through philately.

 

In the "New Issues" feature, the United Nations Offices in New York, Geneva, and Vienna issued  recently issued a set of 6 stamps and 3 souvenir sheets celebrating recent explorations of Mars by NASA's Perseverance rover, China's Tianwen-1/

Zhurong Rover and the United Arab Emeriates Hope spacecraft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Astronomy Study Unit has a Facebook Group page! Please visit us at https://www.facebook.com/group/astronomystudyunit/.

Check out the ATA's one-page exhibit gallery. The Science & Technology section has a number of astrophilately exhibits.​

There are several web sites associated with astrophilately. Here are a few:

 

World's Oldest Astronomy Stamps

A great website listing stamps issued from before 1940 to 1956.

 

Astronomy and Cosmology on Stamps

An excellent compilation of the history of astronomy through stamps (from the University of Buffalo (NY) Libraries).

 

Collect Space Stamps

Mostly geared towards space stamps, but also lists many astronomy-themed stamps, particularly those associated with astronomical observations, such as the Hubble Space Telescope.

 

Un-Manned Space Philately

An amazing site of a catalog of stamps and launch covers related to scientific research, including solar research, astrophysics, and planetary exploration all organized by theme. The site is managed by Garry Toth and Dan Hilger, authors of the book Space Weather - A Philatelic Journey, available from the ATA.

Physicists and Physics on Stamps

Not fancy, but does list quite a number of physicist-themed stamp issues, many of whom are also astronomers and astrophysicists. A similar collection can be found here and here.

Science on Stamps

Not exactly a website and not exactly devoted to astronomy, but this downloadable PDF of over 148 pages details an exhibit on science on stamps from the University of Buffalo libraries. Many descriptions of astrophysics, astronomy, and scientists associated with the discipline.

 

Astro Space Stamp Society

The Astro Space Stamp Society, based in the UK,  is dedicated to everyone who collects space stamps, postcards, covers, signed autographs from astronauts to astrophilatelic memorabilia or just enthusiasts on the Space hobby. The Astro Space Stamp Society publishes the magazine, Orbit.

Space Study Unit

The Space Study Unit of the American Topical Association, featuring many overlapping themes with the Astronomy Study Unit.

 

Chemistry and Physics Study Unit

Another study unit of the American Topical Association, which also features overlapping themes with the Astronomy Study Unit.

Ian Ridpath's Astronomy Stamps from the British Isles

Ian Ridpath has an extensive collection of British stamps with descriptive information.

 

Astrophilately Books!

Calling all astrophiles! There is a fantastic book devoted to astronomy and astrophilately: Stamping Through Astronomy (2013) by Renato Dicati (ISBN 978-88-470-2828-9). The book explores the wonders of astronomy through stamps and philatelic materials. Lots of stamps in full color and a good read. The book is available through Amazon and other book dealers. See the September 2016 Astrofax for a review of this fine book! Also check out the June 2017 issue for a review of the book, Stamping Through Mathematics, by Robin J. Wilson. A must have with lots of related astrophilately subjects! Also, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, check out The Race to the Moon Chronicled in Stamps, Postcards, and Postmarks: A Story of Puffery vs. the Pragmatic (2018), by Umberto Cavallaro. Also check out the Space Weather - A Philatelic Journey (2019) by meteorologists Garry Toth and Dan Hilger. The book and CD is available from the ATA (Handbook 166-E). The ATA has also published Albert Einstein in Stamps: A Catalog (2020), by Al Raddi (Handbook #169). In 2017, another book by Renato Dicati was published by Springer: Stamping the Earth from Space. The book covers stamps highlighting remote sensing, meteorology, ionospheric studies, and much more that neatly overlaps with astrophilately.

If you love astronomy and stamp collecting, then the Astronomy Study Unit is for you.
 
Chartered in 1972 as a charter member of the American Topical Association, membership in the ASU is open to anyone with an interest in astrophilately.
 
Dues are only $8.00 per year and includes a digital subscription to Astrofax, the official publication of the ASU.
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