July 2022 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Astronomy Study Unit! Stay tuned for an upcoming article in Topical Time.
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 #116 of Astrofax (Vol. 29, Issue 4, Winter 2021) 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 116th issue features the second article on philately and spacecraft exploration the solar system - this time Venus. Also featured are special cancellations from Germany celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in Physics to Albert Einstein and the 450th anniversary of the birth of Johannes Kepler.
In the "New Issues" feature, France recently issued a booklet of 12 stamps called "Learning About the Stars," Argentina released a minisheet with round stamps highlighting the phases of solar eclipses, and São Tomé E Principe honors the 450th anniversary of Kepler's birth, while Gambia honors the 100th anniversary of Einstein's Nobel Prize.
The Astronomy Study Unit has a Facebook Group page! Please visit us at https://www.facebook.com/group/astronomystudyunit/.
There are several web sites associated with astrophilately. Here are a few:
A great website listing stamps issued from before 1940 to 1956.
An excellent compilation of the history of astronomy through stamps (from the University of Buffalo (NY) Libraries).
Mostly geared towards space stamps, but also lists many astronomy-themed stamps, particularly those associated with astronomical observations, such as the Hubble Space Telescope.
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.
Quite an extensive listing by topic and country of space and astronomy 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.
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.
The Space Study Unit of the American Topical Association, featuring many overlapping themes with the Astronomy Study Unit.
Another study unit of the American Topical Association, which also features overlapping themes with the Astronomy Study Unit.
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.