Canada 1954 – Plough and gannet

This splendid little stamp contains a reasonably accurate depiction of the seven stars of the Plough or Big Dipper, with the “pointers” of the Dipper’s bowl leading the eye up towards the north pole star, Polaris. The main departure from strict astronomical accuracy is that the stars of the Plough are all drawn as the same brightness, while the brightness of Polaris is somewhat exaggerated in relation to them. Flying in front of the stars is a northern gannet, a type of sea bird which breeds in large quantities in northeastern Canada. To complete the astronomical content, there is a hint of auroral bands in the sky. (Note: Although the Stanley Gibbons Simplified Catalogue lists this under 1953, the stamp itself bears a date of 1954.)

SG number
Face value
15 c