EUROPA 2009 – Astronomy SI

EUROPA 2009 – Astronomy

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly of the 23rd of July 2003 in Sidney (Australia) unanimously approved a resolution for the designation of year 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy. On the 20th of December 2007, the 2009 International Year of Astronomy was proclaimed by the 62nd United Nations General Assembly. UN appointed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the lead agency for this major event. With the same view, POSTEUROP decided for the EUROPA 2009 theme to be the Astronomy. On this occasion, Romfilatelia issues the ASTRONOMY postage stamps. Under the title EUROPA, the subject is approached by each member state of this body, according to its nationality.

The 2009 International Astronomical Year (IYA 2009/AIA 2009) celebrates the four centuries since Galileo Galilei built the telescope and used it for the first time for astronomic purposes. This was the moment which marked the beginning of the great astronomical discoveries that, for 400 years, have sustained a scientific revolution leading to the changing of the people’s view on the world. Nowadays, the ground telescopes, but also the ones in space, scrutinize the Universe 24 hours a day, covering all wavelengths of light. Referring to the importance of 2009 for Astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) President, Catherine Cesarsky, stated: “The 2009 International Year of Astronomy gives the opportunity to all nations to take part in this exciting scientific and technological revolution”. In this context, the 2009 International Year of Astronomy will highlight the global cooperation for peaceful purposes, emphasizing once again the fact that, for many years, the astronomers have been working together disregarding the geographical boundaries, differences of gender, age, culture and race, in full compliance with the UN Charter principles.

In the current geopolitical environment, Astronomy may be considered the typical example of the manner in which science can significantly unfold to the development of international cooperation. The International Year of Astronomy will occasion the unfolding of many international and national events during 2009, such as colloquies, conferences, teaching and training workshops, scientific experiments and exhibitions. The climax of this year was the April launching of two European satellites for scientific research, the Herschel spatial telescope and the Planck spatial observatory, the launching of which had been initially scheduled for 2008. Amongst others, they will observe the birth of stars and galaxies (Herschel) and the “fossil” cosmic radiations (Planck). 

The opening festivities for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) in Romania took place in Sibiu, from the 6th to the 7th of February. The events were organized by the IYA National Committee, which includes representatives of the Romania National Commission for UNESCO, of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, of the Astronomical Observatory, of the Bucharest Astroclub and of other institutions and associations in the field coordinated by UNESCO on behalf of the United Nations Organization.

The postage stamp with the face value of Lei 2.40 illustrates in a compositional background Galileo Galilei’s portrait, next to the telescope that he invented and the image of the Tower of Pisa, the building that is closely related to the experiences through which the great scientist underlay the existence of the Earth’s movement.

The postage stamp with the face value of Lei 9.10 illustrates a part of the map of the boreal sky constellations, together with inspiring images representing the movement of the planets, as well as the Universe that still hides many secrets which mankind has strived and still strives to discover.

The issue is completed by a set of 2 maxicards.

Technical Details

Issue Date: 06.05.2009
Designer: Octavian Ioan Penda
Process: Offset
Colours: 4 Colors
Size: Stamps size: 48 x 33 mm & Mini sheet size: 110 x 90 mm
Values: 2.40 LEI & 9.10 LEI