New U.S. Postal Service Stamps Feature Iconic NASA Webb Images

The U.S. Postal Service has issued two new Priority Mail stamps celebrating NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most powerful, and most complex telescope ever put in space. The stamps, issued Jan. 22, feature images of the cosmos captured by Webb since it began its science mission in 2022. Webb is a mission led by NASA in partnership with ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).

“NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is the perfect intersection of science, engineering, and art as it reveals the greatest secrets of our cosmos through the beautiful images it captures,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “With these stamps, people across the country can have their own snapshot of Webb’s captivating images – and the incredible science they represent – at their fingertips, and know that they, too, are part of this ground-breaking new era in astronomy.”

The first of the new stamps, a Priority Mail Express stamp, features Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) image of the “Cosmic Cliffs” in the Carina Nebula, located roughly 7,600 light-years away. The image shows emerging stellar nurseries and individual stars that were previously hidden from sight. This scene was one of the first full-color images revealed from Webb in July 2022, demonstrating the telescope’s ability to peer through cosmic dust and shed new light on how stars form.

The other stamp, a Priority Mail stamp, features an image of the Pillars of Creation captured by Webb’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument). Webb’s look at this familiar landscape, which was first made famous by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, shows pillars flush with gas and dust, enshrouding stars that are slowly forming over many millennia. The Pillars of Creation is set within the vast Eagle Nebula, which lies 6,500 light-years away.

These new stamps join a Forever stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2022, featuring an artist’s digital illustration of Webb against a background of stars.

The U.S. Postal Service stamps honor Webb’s achievements as it continues its mission to explore the unknown in our universe and study every phase in cosmic history. Webb has already pulled back the curtain on some of the farthest galaxies, stars, and black holes ever observed; solved a longstanding mystery about the early universe; given us a more detailed look at the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system than ever before; and offered new views and insights into our own cosmic backyard.

More About the Mission

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency).

NASA Headquarters oversees the mission for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages Webb for the agency and oversees work on the mission performed by the Space Telescope Science Institute, Northrop Grumman, and other mission partners. In addition to Goddard, several NASA centers contributed to the project, including the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston; Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California; Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama; Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley; and others.

MIRI was developed through a 50-50 partnership between NASA and ESA. JPL led the U.S. efforts for MIRI, and a multinational consortium of European astronomical institutes contributes for ESA. George Rieke with the University of Arizona is the MIRI science team lead. Gillian Wright is the MIRI European principal investigator.

The MIRI cryocooler development was led and managed by JPL, in collaboration with Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

To learn more about Webb, visit:

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