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Solar eclipse stamp changes from eclipsed sun to full moon

To commemorate the total solar eclipse over the US in August, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing a landmark stamp that does something no other stamp can.

The Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamp, which will be issued June 20, changes when you touch it from an image of the eclipsed sun to one of the full moon.

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On August 21, the moon will slip between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow that will create the first full solar eclipse over the U.S. in 38 years.

In a swath of the country from South Carolina to Oregon, darkness will reign in the middle of the day for a full two minutes and 40 seconds, beginning at 1:25 p.m. in the Eastern time zone.

>> Related: Time running out to get reservations for the total solar eclipse in US

The solar eclipse stamp image is a photograph taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, AZ, that shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006.

Thermochromic ink makes the stamp work. Using the heat of your finger, the image will reveal an underlying image of the moon, which Espenak also took. The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools.

>> Related: Rare total solar eclipse visible from America in August 

Thermochromic inks are vulnerable to UV light and should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible to preserve this special effect. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service will be offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.

The back of the stamp will have a map of the eclipse path.

Read more here. 

Supermoon yields spectacular views

The skies early Monday were dominated by a spectacular supermoon, the closest the satellite has been to Earth since January 1948 and a sight that won’t occur again until 2034.

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The moon appears to be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than the average full moon.

The distance between Earth and its moon changes because the moon’s orbit is elliptical. While the average full moon is about 236,790 miles from Earth, Monday’s moon will be 221,525 miles away – a difference of 15,265 miles. 

In South Florida the skies were clear for the view, while other parts of the state were cloudy and obstructed the view somewhat. Around the world, photographers captured the unique event and posted their work on social media sites.

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New Horizons fly-by will shed light on Pluto's mysteries

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After more than nine years in transit, NASA's New Horizons probe is finally ready to fly past Pluto and give us the best glimpse ever of the dwarf planet. And if the last few days leading up to the flyby are any indication, we're about to see some pretty wild stuff. 

Up until now, we had no idea what the surface of Pluto actually looks like; the icy dwarf planet is too far away for conventional telescopes to make out clearly. But the increasingly clear pictures New Horizons has been sending back have revealed dark spots and polygonal shapes on Pluto's surface — evidence of complex geology. 

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We'll learn more about what Pluto looks like on Tuesday, when New Horizons passes within 8,000 miles of the planet's surface. The probe is scheduled to take a series of observations which should tell us, among other things, the chemical composition of Pluto's surface and atmosphere. 

New Horizon's mission doesn't end after Pluto; the spacecraft is slated to study one or two other objects in the Kuiper Belt – the region of small asteroid-like objects surrounding the edge of the solar system. 

It will take months for New Horizons to send back all of the data it will gather during its flyby, and the information will probably keep astronomers busy even longer. But if you want to see what the flyby might look like for yourself, you can check out NASA's animated preview app.

This video includes images from NASA, ESA and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute) and NASA / Johns Hopkins University / Southwest Research Institute.

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.3";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>As New Horizons gets even closer to Pluto and its large moon, Charon, we are able to capture intriguing fine details on...Posted by NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Thursday, July 9, 2015

This latest image from New Horizons allows us to better see the four dark spots on the side of Pluto that always faces...Posted by NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hubble Space Telescope still dazzles 25 years later

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If walking on the moon was one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind, then NASA's achievement with the Hubble Space Telescope should be seen as one huge grin.

On April 24, 1990, space shuttle Discovery launched the telescope into orbit, and NASA scientists and people around the globe have been amazed ever since.

The telescope has tallied more than 1.2 million observations of more than 38,000 celestial objects since its launch, according to the Associated Press.

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It is occasionally pampered with maintenace work, most recently in 2009, the wire service reports.

Hubble's unobstructed view of the universe has provided spectacular images for two and a half decades and is one of the many reasons it is one of NASA's greatest achievements. 

What are some of your fondest Hubble memories?

Pi Day: Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson and other stars celebrate 'holiday'

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"Science Guy" Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, William Shatner and other celebrities took to Twitter this weekend to celebrate this year's once-in-a-century Pi Day.

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Click here or scroll down to see what they had to say.

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/pi-day-bill-nye-neil-degrasse-tyson-and-other-star/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/pi-day-bill-nye-neil-degrasse-tyson-and-other-star.js?header=false&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "Pi Day: Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson and other stars celebrate 'holiday'" on Storify]

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