Fans of the late David Bowie have discovered an extraordinary ‘secret message’ contained in the album artwork for his final record Blackstar, which happens when you leave it lying out in the sun…

The album cover for the vinyl edition of his 26th and last album features a large black star on the front. If you place the sleeve (not the record itself!) in direct sunlight, the black star eventually transforms into a galaxy of shining stars. Once the sleeve is removed from the light source, it fades back to black after a short time.

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The person who discovered the quirky feature of the album cover shared his finding on the image-sharing site Imgur on Tuesday (May 3rd), and it’s been seen by over half a million users since.

Blackstar, which came out just two days before Bowie died on January 10th from liver cancer, was widely hailed as another masterpiece but was the first record in his career that didn’t feature his picture on the front cover.

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The album’s sleeve designer, Jonathan Barnbrook, was asked about the artwork in design magazine Dezeen recently. “It’s subsided a bit now, but a lot of people said it was a bull**** cover when it came out, that it took five minutes to design,” he said. “But I think there is a misunderstanding about the simplicity.”

David BowieDavid Bowie's 'Blackstar' vinyl sleeve does something incredible if you leave it in the sun

Blackstar was recently revealed to be the highest-selling vinyl album in the UK over the last 12 months, selling even more than Adele’s 25.

Soon after Bowie’s passing, his long-time producer Tony Visconti confirmed that the record was intended as a farewell message for his fans. “His death was no different from his life - a work of art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift… …he was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us.”

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