Stamp commemorates American weather pioneer of Åland descent

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On 25 March, Åland Post issues a stamp featuring the Suomi NPP weather satellite, named after Åland descendant Verner E. Suomi. Also known as “the father of satellite meteorology”, Suomi contributed to laying the foundations for today’s weather satellites, essential for providing weather forecasts. Åland illustrator Peter Bergström has designed the stamp.

Verner E. Suomi (1915–1995) was among the earliest to understand the importance of satellites for weather observations. His parents Johan Enoch Suominen/Suomi, born in Kustavi in the archipelago of Åboland, and Anna Matilda Sundqvist from Pettböle, Finström, emigrated from Åland to the USA in 1902. Verner grew up in Eveleth, Minnesota, as the second youngest of seven siblings.

Launched in 1959, the Explorer VII Satellite carried Suomi’s first instrument, a flat plate radiometer that measured the Earth’s heat balance from space for the first time. It was discovered that clouds play an important role in the Earth’s energy budget and that the Earth absorbs more radiated solar energy than was previously recognized.

Suomi’s most important invention is probably a camera that was added to the ATS-1 Satellite launched in 1966. Its geosynchronous orbit enabled scientists to observe the formation of weather systems without interruptions. Until then, all we had seen were interesting snapshots from space but, with Suomi’s ”Spin-Scan Cloud Camera”, scientists could monitor air motion, cloud height and rainfall among other phenomena.

Since 2011, the American weather satellite Suomi NPP on the stamp monitors the Earth’s cloud cover, oceans, ice sheets, vegetation, and the heat radiation from the Earth’s atmosphere. The Suomi NPP is a polar orbiting satellite and is one of several satellites providing data for weather forecasts in Finland.

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Date of issue : 25March 2021
Artist: Peter Bergström
Design: Julia Perander/Strax
Edition: 80 000
Denomination: Världen (€2.20)
Price FDC: €3.20 
Stamp size: 35 x 34.5 mm
Sheet size: 2 x 15 stamps
Paper: 103 g/m2
Perforation: 13 per 2 cm
Printing process:4-colour offset
Printer: Southern Colour Print

Order stamp, first day cover and maximum card at webshop.alandpost.com, by post to Åland Post Stamps, P.O. box 1100, AX-22111 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland, e-mail stamps(a)alandpost.com or telephone: +358 18 636 641.

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