Hawaiian Telescope honored by Canadian Stamp for the International Year of Astronomy

April 2, 2009

The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) is the only international Mauna Kea observatory belonging to Hawai`i as well as to its two other international partners, Canada and France. CFHT played a leading role in establishing Mauna Kea as one of the best astronomical sites in the world. Canada's participation in the CFHT project has also been a very important step in the development of the Canadian astronomical community and placed Canada at the forefront of the international scene.

On April 2, 2009, Canada Post issued two domestic rate (54-cent) stamps to celebrate 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy and recognize the significant role that Canadians have played in uncovering the mysteries of outer space.

"Canada's astronomers have long been at the forefront of the modern quest for cosmic knowledge," said Robert Waite, Chairman of the Stamp Advisory Committee and Senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility at Canada Post. "Canadians co-discovered the first black hole and took what is likely the first picture of a planet orbiting around a star similar to our sun."

CFHT will celebrate its 30th birthday later this year and this philatelic recognition is a wonderful early birthday present for an observatory which, in spite of its age and modest size, remains at the forefront of today's astronomy, thanks to unique instruments and important ongoing projects spanning from our solar system and neighboring stars to remote galaxies and the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy.

Each of the two stamps pairs an important Canadian observatory with amazing images of outer space marvels. Both nebulae were photographed by CFHT. One stamp features the Eagle Nebula against an image of the CFHT telescope while the other stamp depicts the Horsehead Nebula and an image of Canada's National Research Council's Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) in Saanich, British Columbia.

More astronomical images by CFHT can be found at www.cfht.hawaii.edu/HawaiianStarlight/HawaiianStarlight.html.

More information on CFHT can be found at www.cfht.hawaii.edu.

Additional information about Canadian stamps, as well as photos of the new International Year of Astronomy stamps, can be found in the News section of Canada Post's website.

Stamps and other products will be available at participating post offices, or can be ordered online by following the links at Canada Post's website www.canadapost.ca/collection or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA, call toll-free: 1 800 565-4362, and from other countries, call: 902 863-6550.