Stamp Collecting Month 2015: Our Solar System

A journey into space, exploring the eight major planets circling the sun.

Stamp Collecting Month (SCM) is especially for kids (or the inner child in all of us). It's about encouraging budding philatelists, and sharing some educational facts on an interesting topic. Learn more about the planets that feature on the 2015 SCM stamps, by exploring the fun facts and videos here.

Time Audio Visual
0:00 Gentle electronic music starts playing
Opening animation of space with rock debris flying towards us.
0:03   ‘Our Solar System’ title appears floating through space and disappears right of screen.
0:07 Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun and the smallest planet in our Solar System. Its surface is baked and wrinkled by the Sun’s intense heat. Mercury has no atmosphere and its arid surface is scarred by impacts from asteroids, meteors and comets.

The planet Mercury moves in from right of screen.
The title Mercury appears left of screen.
A graphic starts at the top of Mercury and a number counter goes up as the graphic circumvents the plant up to the actual circumference of 15,329.
Information about Mercury appears in the bottom left of screen.

The information displayed is:
- Distance from the sun: 57 million km
- Circumference: 15,329 km
- Length of day: 1407 hours
- Orbit the sun: 88 days

An image of the Mercury 35c stamps appears below right of the planet.

0:28   All graphics dissolve leaving only the image of Mercury which zooms in and moves right, off the screen.
0:30 Venus, hidden under a blanket of clouds, is a hellish world of crushing atmospheric pressure and acid rain. The second planet from the Sun and similar in size to the Earth, Venus is the hottest world in the Solar System, surface temperatures reaching up to 462°c.

The planet Venus moves in from right of screen.
The title Venus appears left of screen.
A graphic starts at the top of Venus and a number counter goes up as the graphic circumvents the plant up to the actual circumference of 38,025.
Information about Venus appears in the bottom left of screen.

The information displayed is:
- Distance from the sun: 108 million km
- Circumference: 38,025 km
- Length of day: 5.832 hours
- Orbit the sun: 224.7 days

An image of the Venus 35c stamps appears below right of the planet.

0:53   All graphics dissolve leaving only the image of Venus which zooms in and moves right, off the screen.
0:55 Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the largest of the “terrestrial”, or rocky, planets. With its vast oceans and protective atmosphere, our home planet has proved just right for the development of life.

The planet Earth moves in from right of screen.
The title Earth appears left of screen.
A graphic starts at the top of Earth and a number counter goes up as the graphic circumvents the plant up to the actual circumference of 40,075.

Information about Earth appears in the bottom left of screen.

The information displayed is:
- Distance from the sun: 150 million km
- Circumference: 40,075 km
- Length of day: 24 hours
- Orbit the sun: 365 days

An image of the Earth 70c stamps appears below right of the planet.

1:11   All graphics dissolve leaving only the image of Earth which zooms in and moves right, off the screen.
1:14 Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and about half the diameter of the Earth, with a surface temperature range of -125 to -20°C. Mars may once have been Earth-like, but is now a “rusted” world that has lost its surface water and most of its atmosphere.

The planet Mars moves in from right of screen.
The title Mars appears left of screen.
A graphic starts at the top of Mars and a number counter goes up as the graphic circumvents the plant up to the actual circumference of 21,334.

Information about Mars appears in the bottom left of screen.

The information displayed is:
- Distance from the sun: 228 million km
- Circumference: 21.334 km
- Length of day: 24 hours 39 minutes
- Orbit the sun: 1.88 years

An image of the Mars 35c stamps appears below right of the planet.

1:36   All graphics dissolve leaving only the image of Mars which zooms in and moves right, off the screen.
1:39 Jupiter, the largest planet and fifth from the Sun, is a huge ball of hydrogen and helium gas, with complex cloud bands roiled by massive storms. Jupiter has a ring system consisting of four rings, and 67 moons have been discovered so far.

The planet Jupiter moves in from right of screen.
The title Jupiter appears left of screen.
A graphic starts at the top of Jupiter and a number counter goes up as the graphic circumvents the plant up to the actual circumference of 439,264.

Information about Jupiter appears in the bottom left of screen.

The information displayed is:
- Distance from the sun: 779 million km
- Circumference: 439,264 km
- Length of day: 9 hours 9 minutes
- Orbit the sun: 12 years

An image of the Jupiter 70c stamps appears below right of the planet.

1:59   All graphics dissolve leaving only the image of Jupiter which zooms in and moves right, off the screen.
2:01

Saturn, like Jupiter, is made mostly of hydrogen. It is the sixth planet from the Sun and is famous for its glorious and complex ring system. These rings are made up of billions of pieces of water ice ranging in size from a centimetre to chunks as big as icebergs.

The planet Saturn moves in from right of screen.
The title Saturn appears left of screen.
A graphic starts at the top of Saturn and a number counter goes up as the graphic circumvents the plant up to the actual circumference of 378,675.

Information about Saturn appears in the bottom left of screen.

The information displayed is:
- Distance from the sun: 1.43 billion km
- Circumference: 378,675 km
- Length of day: 10 hours 39 minutes
- Orbit the sun: 10,760 days

An image of the Saturn 70c stamps appears below right of the planet.

2:23   All graphics dissolve leaving only the image of Saturn which zooms in and moves right, off the screen.
2:27 Uranus, tipped on its side by an ancient impact, has a smoggy atmosphere of hydrogen, helium and methane over an icy interior. The seventh planet from the Sun and with a minimum temperature of -224.2°C, it is the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System.

The planet Uranus moves in from right of screen.
The title Uranus appears left of screen.
A graphic starts at the top of Uranus and a number counter goes up as the graphic circumvents the plant up to the actual circumference of 159,354.

Information about Uranus appears in the bottom left of screen.

The information displayed is:
- Distance from the sun: 2.88 billion km
- Circumference: 159,354 km
- Length of day: 17 hours 14 minutes
- Orbit the sun: 30,700 days

An image of the Uranus 70c stamps appears below right of the planet.

2:53   All graphics dissolve leaving only the image of Uranus which zooms in and moves right, off the screen.
2:56 Neptune, the outermost planet, has a composition similar to Uranus, but its atmosphere is wracked by fierce winds and giant storms. Neptune has a thin system of five rings, composed of ice particles and dust grains.

The planet Neptune moves in from right of screen.
The title Neptune appears left of screen.
A graphic starts at the top of Neptune and a number counter goes up as the graphic circumvents the plant up to the actual circumference of 155,597.

Information about Neptune appears in the bottom left of screen.

The information displayed is:
- Distance from the sun: 4.50 billion km
- Circumference: 155,597 km
- Length of day: 16 hours 6 minutes
- Orbit the sun: 60,200 days

An image of the Neptune 70c stamps appears below right of the planet.

3:12   All graphics dissolve leaving only the image of Neptune which zooms in and moves right, off the screen.
3:16  

Images of the eight 2015 2015 stamp collecting month stamps.

‘Our Solar System’ title zooms in and rest over the images.

3:22   Australia Post logo and auspost.com.au/scm appear on screen.
3:27 Music stops. Background changes to white with logo and web address still visible.
3:38   Video ends.

About the ‘Our Solar System’ SCM Stamps

Our 2015 SCM stamp release features the major planets that circle the sun. The inner Solar System includes the small rocky planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars), and the outer Solar System includes the massive gas giants beyond the asteroid belt (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune & Pluto).
Mercury

Mercury

Closest to the Sun, Mercury is the smallest planet in our solar system…

Venus

Venus

Hidden under a blanket of clouds, Venus is a hellish world of crushing...

Earth

Earth

Earth is the largest of the "terrestrial", or rocky, planets…

Mars

Mars

At 6,799 km Mars is about half the diameter of the Earth…

Jupiter

Jupiter

The largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter is a "gas giant"...

Saturn

Saturn

Famous for its glorious and complex ring system, Saturn is the sixth planet from...

Uranus

Uranus

The first planet to be discovered with the aid of a telescope...

Neptune

Neptune

Neptune, the outermost of the major planets, was discovered by telescope...

Activities and resources

If you’re a parent, caregiver or teacher, here are some free SCM resources to share with children. Want some more advice on stamp collecting? Read our tips on starting a collection.

Resources for teachers

Explore the theme of ‘Our Solar System’ focusing on the major planets that circle the sun.

All about stamp collecting

If you’re new to stamp collecting, we’ve got some tips to get you going. The SCM stamp issue is a great place to start.

Stamps: behind the scenes

Find out why stamp collecting is such a popular hobby, and watch how stamps get made.

Why Collect Stamps video transcript

Australians have been collecting stamps for over 150 years, a couple of decades after stamps were first issued in 1840.

Kids would collect stamps as a hobby, asking their family and friends to save stamps from letters and envelopes they received.

News about valuable stamps, like the famous American stamp called the US Inverted Jenny from 1918, which sold in 2016 for over one and a half million dollars! and the world’s most valuable stamp, the 1856 one cent British Guiana Stamp, worth over 12 million dollars! has led to a huge interest in stamp collecting.

The value of stamps is determined by their age, their scarcity and their condition. But collecting is not just about a stamp’s value - it’s fun to collect colourful, interesting or unusual stamps, sort them into an album, and trade them with your friends!

Each year Australia Post dedicates a whole month to stamp collecting and every year a different theme is chosen for a series of exciting new stamps and products like the endangered species series which featured some Australia native animals including the Orange-bellied parrot and the Southern Corroboree Frog, as well as some exotic species like the Asian Elephant, and the Western Lowland Gorilla.

We’ve also explored the depths of our solar system where we took a thrilling ride through space and visiting all 8 planets; from the inhospitable heat of Mercury and Venus through to the eerie, cold gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.

And we travelled way back in time with some beautifully illustrated drawings of some weird and wonderful and sometimes scary! dinosaurs.

All you need to start your own collection is a stamp album and some stamps! You can buy stamps from your local Australia Post shop, swap them with your friends, or ask your family to save stamps for you.

Stamp collecting is a lot of fun. And who knows, you may even find a rare stamp worth a lot of money!

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Production of the Australia Post Wildflowers Definitive Stamps transcript

Male inspecting printing plates
[Slate]: Plate production using a plating system from Du Pont
Male placing paper rolls onto printing machine
Paper rolls running through printing machine
Printing machine running
[Slate]: Four Colour printing on a flexographic printing press
Printing machine running, printing stamps
[Slate]: Stamps are then coated with phosphor and die cut
Printing machine running, printing stamps
[Slate]: The printing machine contains UV lamps to cure the ink through each stage
Printed stamps being passed through the machine and collected onto large rolls
Rolls of stamps going through Quality Control (QC)
[Slate]: Stamps go through inspection using cameras to detect abnormalities
Vision of QC process and inspection
[Slate]: During inspection imperfect stamps are replaced
Stamps passing through QC machine
Male inspecting printed stamp sheets by hand
Australia Post van driving out of production facility
[Slate]: Stamps are then transported to the Australia Post Production Facility
Printed stamps going through cutting machine to produce smaller rolls
Smaller stamp rolls produced, going through conveyor belt
[Slate]: Stamps are cut into smaller rolls of 200 stamps and placed in packaging
Smaller stamp rolls going through conveyor belt to packing
Stamp rolls packaged into boxes
[Slate]: Rolls are picked and boxed and made ready for delivery
Boxes being processed through convey belt
Australia Post van driving out of production facility

Australia Post Logo