Unique RASC Coin and Stamps

A RASC coin and two stamps were recently released by the Royal Canada Mint and Canada Post to commemorate RASC’s 150th anniversary.

The coin features the Eagle Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Moon, and a view of the meteorite formed Manicouagan crater in Quebec. But the coolest thing is that the coin includes a fragment of a meteorite from the Campo del Cielo meteorite field in Argentina. The iron meteorite was recovered from one of 26 impact craters formed roughly 4,500 years ago. The typical composition of a Campo del Cielo meteorite is 92.7% iron, 6.15% nickel, 0.42% cobalt, 0.37% carbon and 0.28% phosphorus.

The stamps feature two spectacular phenomena – the Milky Way and the Northern Lights – from photos taken in 2016 by two Canadian astro-photographers: the Milky Way from Bruce Peninsula in Ontario by Matt Quinn, and the Northern Lights from Churchill in Manitoba by Alan Dyer.

Unveiling of the RASC stamps at the University of Calgary with photographer Alan Dyer, who took the Northern Lights image; David Foot, a member of the Canada Post Stamp Advisory Committee; Chris Gainor, the new President of RASC; and Colin Haig, the society’s former president.

The stamps include hidden information about the photos written in special ink that is only visible under black light. The hidden information includes the date and time the photograph was taken, GPS coordinates, and the type of camera lens used for the photo. The special ink is also used to overlay Constellation lines and names on top of the photos.