Barnaby Norris photograph shows a formation of dust lanes in the Milky Way that make the shape of an emu, rising above an ancient rock engraving of an emu in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, north of Sydney.

Barnaby Norris photograph shows a formation of dust lanes in the Milky Way that make the shape of an emu, rising above an ancient rock engraving of an emu in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, north of Sydney.

Eureka! Emu in the Sky wins prize

Reference: 07/154

Mr Barnaby Norris has won third prize in the 2007 New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography.

  • 21 August 2007

Barnaby has worked with CSIRO for several years on photography and astronomy outreach projects. His prize winning Emu in the Sky image will be used for CSIRO science education programs.

His photograph shows a formation of dust lanes in the Milky Way that make the shape of an emu, rising above an ancient rock engraving of an emu in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, north of Sydney.

“This was a difficult image to capture. The emu is so big in the sky that the picture had to be pieced together from 520 individual images,” Mr Norris explains.

The Emu in the Sky appears upright above the engraving only once a year, at the time when emus lay their eggs, which were an important food for the Ku-ring-gai Aboriginal people.

The Emu in the Sky is recognised by a number of indigenous communities in Australia, including the Wadjiri people of mid-west Western Australia, traditional owners of the site selected for the Pathfinder Telescope, part of the Square Kilometre Array.

“This was a difficult image to capture. The emu is so big in the sky that the picture had to be pieced together from 520 individual images,”
Mr Norris explains.

In 2005 a painting of the Emu in the Sky by Charmaine Green of the Wadjiri community featured on the cover of the Australian astronomy community’s 10-year plan.

Mr Norris is also involved in the Australian film industry as a cinematographer. He has worked on films, music videos and commercials including the short film Snow which was officially selected for the Cannes film festival in 2006.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia’s premier award scheme for outstanding science. Presented annually by the Australian Museum, the prizes reward excellence in the fields of research and innovation, science leadership, school science, and science journalism and communication.

The New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography is awarded for a single photograph that effectively communicates science. The Emu in the Sky will tour Australia with the New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography Exhibition which opened at the Australian Museum on 2 August 2007.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prize winners will be announced this evening at the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes Award Dinner in Sydney (Tuesday 21 August).

Emu in the Sky image available from:

Contact Information

Ms Andrea Wild (BSc(Hons), MA(Writing&Lit))

Science Writer

Environment Group

Phone: +61 2 6246 4087

Alt Phone: +61 415 199 434

Email: Andrea.Wild@csiro.au

Download images at: Eureka Prize Winners

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