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Pillars of Creation

First Day of Issue Date: January 22, 2024

First Day of Issue Location: Greenbelt, MD

About This Stamp

Captured in awe-inspiring detail by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) in 2022, the Pillars of Creation provide clues to the origins of our solar system. The U.S. Postal Service celebrates our continued exploration of deep space with a captivating Priority Mail® stamp.

Having recreated images first captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 and 2014 using Webb in mid-infrared light, astronomers are using this new image to build a deeper understanding of this star-forming region.

The image on the stamp is a digitally colored depiction of the invisible bands of mid-infrared light emitted by the Pillars of Creation. By assigning color to various infrared wavelengths, the digitized image allows us to see a landscape otherwise invisible to the human eye.

Red areas toward the end of the pillars show burgeoning stars ejecting raw materials as they form, while the relatively small red orbs scattered throughout the image show newly born stars. Some of that same material may coalesce into new planets.

Launched on December 25, 2021, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is the largest and most sensitive telescope ever deployed in space. Revealing the cosmos in vivid infrared detail, it is designed to provide scientists with breathtaking images and new data. It is already providing new insights into our cosmic origins and revealing new areas of the universe to explore.

Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp, using an image provided by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), ESA (European Space Agency), Canadian Space Agency, and Space Telescope Science Institute.

Pillars of Creation is being issued in a pane of four stamps.

Stamp Art Director, Stamp Designer

Greg Breeding

Greg Breeding is a graphic designer and principal of Journey Group, a design company he co-founded in 1992, located in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was creative director until 2013, at which time he began serving as president and continued in that role through 2023.  

Breeding’s fascination with modernism began while studying design at Virginia Commonwealth University. His affinity with the movement continues and motivates his ongoing advanced studies at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland most every summer.

As an art director for postage stamp design since 2012, Breeding has designed more than 100 stamps covering a diverse array of subjects, from Star Wars droids and Batman to Harlem Renaissance writers and the transcontinental railroad. 

His work has been recognized in annual design competitions held by Graphis, AIGA, PRINT magazine, and Communication Arts. 

Breeding lives in North Garden, Virginia, with his wife and enjoys nothing so much as frolicking on the floor with his grandchildren.

Existing Art By

NASA, ESA, Canadian Space Agency, and Space Telescope Science Institute

First Day of Issue Ceremony

First Day of Issue Date: January 22, 2024
First Day of Issue Location: Greenbelt, MD

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