The International Year of Astronomy will be commemorated in this years EUROPA stamp set. The set, designed by Alexei Pace and Gordon Caruana Dingli, will be issued by the MaltaPost Philatelic Bureau on Saturday, the 9th of May 2009.
The Euro 0.37 stamp features a portrait of Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642) by Francesco Boschi and one of Galileo's sketches of the moon set against a starry background including the constellation Orion. The stamp also commemorates the 40 year anniversary of the first manned lunar landing by featuring the Apollo 11 lunar module "Eagle." The Euro 1.19 stamp shows the great telescope of William Lassell, set up in Malta between 1861 and 1865, against a background of stars showing Nebula M42, which Lassell himself observed on various occasions from Malta.
The stamps have face values of Euro 0.37 and Euro 1.19. The stamps are 44.0 mm x 31.0 mm in size, with a perforation of 13.9 x 14.0 (comb). The stamps are printed on Maltese Crosses watermarked paper by Printex Limited and are available in sheets of ten.
This set is obtainable as a First Day cover, in mint or cancelled format, and as a Souvenir Folder or Presentation Pack, from all MaltaPost retail branches in Malta and Gozo, the MaltaPost mobile Unit and the Philatelic Bureau (tel. 25961747, email firstname.lastname@example.org, postal address: 305 Triq Hal-Qormi, Marsa, MTP1001). Additional information regarding this and past issues is also available from the MaltaPost website www.maltapost.com.