Britain's most spectacular commemoratives, No14: 2002 Astronomy 1st class

Using photography might be a ‘lazy’ approach to design, but a stunning photo can still make a great stamp. A fine example is the lower left of the quartet in the Astronomy miniature sheet.

It depicts the Ant Nebula, a young bipolar planetary nebula in the constellation of Norma in the southern Milky Way, with its stupendous glowing spherical shells of gas and plasma, the residue of dead stars. 

This image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s in pretty good focus for an object 3,500 light-years away!

Design: Rose Design.

Printing: gravure by Questa.