He discovered that the Moon was not a perfect sphere, but pockmarked with craters, that Jupiter was clearly orbited by four naturai satellites that were
named thè Galilean moons, and that thè Milky Way was made up of billions of stars.
Four centuries later, thè United Nations has declared 2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). Its theme The Universe, Yours to Discover' is an initiative for ali citizens of our planet. It gives them the opportunity to rediscover their piace in thè universe by admiring the splendour of thè sky. fhe goal is to generate a sense of wonder and discovery in everyone.
We ali need to realise thè impaci astronomy and fundamenfal scìences havo on our daily lite, to understand that scientific knowledge contributes to a more balanced and peaceful society.
Many activities nave been planned at home and abroad. One of them is the Planetarium's request for thè issue of a special postage stamp. The Pianeta-rium, which is part of thè Royal Belgian Observatory, is thè best piace to dis-cover beautiful, mysterious heavenly bodies. When you visit thè Planetarium it's as though you are looking up at the sky from thè Andes, from thèesurface of thE Moon or even from other galaxies.
Theme: the EUROPA postage stamp to mark the international Year of Astronomy 400 years after thè first astronomical observation by Galileo Galilei
Creation: Thierry Mordant
Denomination: € 1 or € 0.90
Stamp size: 48.75 mm x 38.15 mm
Sheet size: 125 mm x 90 mm
Composition of thè sheet: 1 stamp
Paper: litho phosphorescent
Printing method: offset
Engraving (cylinders): De Schutter 'Neroc sa
Printing: Stamps Production Belgium
02 I SPECIAL ISSUES
International Year of Astronomy 2009