Stamps and other postal documents are an attractive vehicle for presenting astronomy and its development. Written with expertise and great enthusiasm, this unique book offers a historical and philatelic survey of astronomy and some related topics on space exploration. It contains more than 1300 color reproductions of stamps relating to the history of astronomy, ranging from the earliest observations of the sky to modern research conducted with satellites and space probes. Featured are the astronomers and astrophysicists who contributed to this marvelous story - not only Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Herschel, and Einstein but also hundreds of other minor protagonists who played an important role in the development of this, the most ancient yet the most modern of all the sciences. The book also examines in depth the diverse areas which have contributed to the history of astronomy, including the instrumentation, the theories, and the observations. Many stamps illustrate the beauty and the mystery of celestial objects: galaxies, nebulae, stars, planets, satellites, comets, and minor celestial bodies.
Born in Italy in 1950, Renato Dicati has cultivated since childhood love for astronomy and the interest for space. In 1975 he graduated in Astrophysics at the University of Milan. After an interesting experience as teacher in public schools, he has worked for 30 years at IBM Italy, dealing with education, training and communications based on the use of information technology and multimedia. Over the last twenty years he has dedicated much of his free time to science. He has organized philatelic exhibitions regarding the history of astronomy and astronautics and has published numerous books and articles on astronomy, space exploration and thematic philately. Dicati is member of AS.IT.AF - Italian Astrophilately Society and serves on the Board of Directors of USFI (Italian Philatelic Press Union). Its activities include volunteering at ASPHI, a non-profit foundation that promotes the integration of people with disabilities in school, at work and in society, through the use of ICT (Information Communication Technology).
1 The origins of Astronomy.- 2 The ancients' Astronomy.- 3 Medieval Astronomy.- 4 The revival of Astronomy and the Copernican revolution.- 5 Galileo and the new views of the sky.- 6 The Mechanical Universe.- 7 The development of instrumentation.- 8 Observations and discoveries in the Solar System.- 9 The advent of Astrophysics.- 10 The discovery of the Universe.- 11 The new astronomies.