February 7, 2007 at 5:40 am #954
Info from http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/2007stamps/
International Polar Year
The International Polar Year 2007-2008 will be highlighted on a souvenir sheet Feb. 22, when scientists around the world will conduct research and field observations to increase understanding of the roles that both polar regions play in changing ecosystems, coastal erosion and other phenomena. The sheet features two international rate stamps. One is a marvelous photograph of the aurora borealis. The second is an equally eye-catching photograph of the aurora australis. The souvenir sheet will only be available online at http://www.usps.com/shop or by calling 1-800-STAMP-24. Advance orders will be accepted beginning Feb. 1.
Info from Local newspaper in Miami FL
US Stamps available: USPS Philatelic Fulfillment Service Center
P.O. Box 449997
Kansas City, MO 64144-9997
A $1.68 souvenir sheet with two different 84-cent stamps picturing the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis — the lights of the Northern and Southern hemispheres — will celebrate “International Polar Year 2007-2008.”
The 84-cent denomination is the international rate for mailing a one-ounce letter.
The U.S. Postal Service is scheduled to dedicate the souvenir sheet on Feb. 20 in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Scientist and arctic explorer Karl Weyprecht (1838-81) is credited with inspiring the first International Polar Year, although he died before it occurred.
Weyprecht and explorer Julius von Payer (1841-1915) led the 1872-74 Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition aboard the ship Admiral Tegetthoff. They discovered Franz Josef Land in the arctic.
A dozen countries took part in the first International Polar Year.
By 1932-33, the second International Polar Year, about 40 countries participated, “establishing many permanent research stations and,” according to the National Academy of Sciences, achieving “advances in meteorology, atmospheric sciences, geomagnetism and the `mapping’ of ionospheric phenomena that advanced radioscience and technology.”
In 1957-58 — the International Geophysical Year — “67 nations continued the legacy of international scientific cooperation while commemorating the 75th and 25th anniversaries of the first two IPYs,” stated the USPS. At least 35 countries will take part in International Polar Year 2007-08, which will run through March 2009 to “ensure that researchers can work in both polar regions during two full seasons,” stated the USPS.
The 2007-08 souvenir sheet will be part of a booklet of similar stamp sheets issued jointly by seven other countries — Canada, Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
The U.S. souvenir sheet also will be available separately through the USPS Philatelic Fulfillment Service Center at P.O. Box 449997, Kansas City, MO 64144-9997. Or, call toll-free at 800-782-6724. The fax number is 816-545-1212.
Also, two stamps on the sheet — the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis — are scheduled to be issued in September as a pane of 20 “Polar Lights” stamps carrying the 42-cent denomination.
In 1958, the United States issued a 3-cent stamp to commemorate the International Geophysical Year 1957-58. The 2007 souvenir sheet is the first U.S. commemoration of an International Polar Year.
The photograph of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern lights, was made by Fred Hirschmann of Wasilla, Alaska. The photograph of the Aurora Australis, in the Southern Hemisphere, was made by Per-Andre Hoffmann of Stuttgart, Germany.
The selvage photograph shows a portion of the Aurora Borealis over Mount McKinley in Denali National Park in Alaska and was made by Colin Tyler Bogucki of Minneapolis, Minn.
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