2021 55¢ Sun Science
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: June 18, 2021
First Day City: Greenbelt, MD
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Flexographic, Foil Stamping
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 18,000,000
Scientists have been studying the Sun for almost all of human history. We have learned so much about the star in the center of our solar system, and yet, there is still a lot that remains a mystery.
In 2021, the United States Postal Service issued a set of 10 Forever stamps honoring Sun Science. Each design pictures a different phenomenon exhibited by our Sun. These include: coronal holes, coronal loops, solar flares, the active Sun, plasma blasts, and sunspots. Coronal holes, coronal loops, solar flares, and plasma blasts are all pictured on two stamps, while the active Sun and sunspots are pictured on one each.
The Sun is the only reason life on Earth is possible. It provides us with light, warmth, and the energy we need to power our world. We are only just beginning to understand how to capture that energy and put it to use. Solar panels are becoming more popular, but as of 2021, even the most advanced could only capture about 22% of the solar energy they are exposed to. Even if their efficiency stayed the same, scientists calculated that the world's current electricity needs could be met by solar energy alone. It would require just 3.27% of the US to be covered with solar panels. Considering how much power these panels generate with just 22%, imagine what we could do with 50% or more!