Bulgaria was one of over 100 countries to issue stamps commemorating the return of Halley’s Comet in 1986. They issued a four stamp souvenir sheet, with each stamp denominated 25 stotinki. The four stamps together illustrate the complete orbit of the comet against a backdrop of the solar system. Each individual stamp shows the comet’s position at a specific point or points in time.
Space probes sent to investigate the comet grace the four corners of the sheet. The upper left shows Planet A, or Suisei, a Japanese comet chasing probe. The upper right shows Vega, an international mission sent by 10 countries plus the European Space Agency. In the lower left is the ESA probe Giotto. The NASA Pioneer Venus Orbiter is in the lower right. All of these space missions were able to observe and investigate the comet as it barreled through the solar system.
A picture of Edmund Halley and his life dates, 1656-1742, appear in the top center of the sheet. A drawing of the Rozhen Observatory in Bulgaria is included at the center bottom.
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