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Stamp Profile 25th Anniversary of Harry Bayley Observatory Barbados Issue Date: 28/11/1988 It was as late as 1840 that the eminent astronomer Francois Arago maintained the probability of a cool region beneath the surface of the sun where life might exist. Astronomy seems to have combined observation and imagination for much of its history. The builders of The Great Pyramid possessed considerable astronomical knowledge, as did the Arabs who used it both in the development of astrological charts and maps. Thales is reputed to have brought astronomy from Egypt to Greece in about 650BC (He is also recorded as having fallen down a well while walking along stargazing). The greatest of Greek astronomers was Hipparchus of Alexandria about whose theories, the Almagest of Ptolemy; the standard astronomical authority for 1,400 years was written. Such names as Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Newton, all contributed to the development of the science bringing it to the beginning of the modern era. Released on 28 November from Barbados is a set of stamps marking the 25 years of operation of the small Harry Baley observatory, a period in which any new discoveries have been made. The stamps had been designed by Josephine Martin of the Garden Studio and are printed in lithography by Walsall Security Printers Ltd. Shown on the 25c design is a portrait of the founder; Harry Baley; the observatory, the crescent moon and Venus. The latter is the most brilliant of the planets - with probably the most totally hostile environment anywhere! At one time it was thought that Venus was covered with luxurious, primitive vegetation and vast seas supporting basic life forms. In fact it has a surface temperature of about 500C (the rocks glow red at night). The pressure of the atmosphere, of carbon dioxide, is ninety times greater than that of the earth and the continuous cloud cover contains sulphuric acid! Thunder and lightning is continuous —hardly the place for your annual holiday — even Skegness would be better! The 65c design again shows the Harry Bayley observatory, superimposed on a circular map of Barbados against a background of the night sky. The constellations Polaris and Crux are shown in silver, as is the inscription, "From the North Star to the Southern Cross". The Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant object clearly visible with the naked eye — a mere 2.2 million light years away. It is shown in the background of the 75c design. The $2 design shows some stars from the Orion constellation. Betelgeuse is an orange—red star, far older and greater in size than the sun. It’s name probably derives from the Arabic "Bay-tell—jurz" meaning "Armpit of the Central One". In five billion years time, our own sun will be a Red Giant too, swallowing up Mercury and Venus - and probably the Earth, after the oceans have boiled away and all life forms (including stamp-collectors) have long since deceased or taken to their escape. Europe in Space Hungary  Issue Date: 20/04/1991 When Hungary was admitted to CEPT it was decided to issue a set of two stamps for the Europa issue with the topic of Space Research, The two stamps were issued on the 30th April 1991 with a face value of 12 and 30 Forints. The stamp with a face value of 12ft, depicts the ULYSSES satellite put into orbit on the 6th October 1990, which was directed to the planet Jupiter. The Ulysses furnished with instruments built by European and American experts will fly 430,000 km and fly by Jupiter in February 1992 and later it will study the environment of the Southern and Northern poles of the Sun. The stamp with 30ft face value depicts the space satellites Cassini and Huygens, which are designed and built collectively by American and West European experts. According to the plans they should start from the Earth in 1996 with the following missions: the Cassini will study Saturn, and Huygens would descend into the atmosphere of the largest moon of Saturn, i.e. into the atmosphere of the Titan and would carry out research there, All three-space satellites will improve knowledge of mankind on the giant planets and the exterior regions of the solar system. (Information supplied by Entreprise 0. La Post. Hongroise and Harry Allen International Philatelic Distributors to the Hungarian Post Office)
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