The Milky Way and the ‘Emu In The Sky’

I took this panorama during my last trip to Wagga Wagga in the Riverina. A total of 27 frames 30 seconds each using a 16mm lens.

The Galactic Centre was almost at zenith (the highest point in the sky and also the clearest with the least atmosphere to distort stars and colouration) and on either side of the panorama you can see some light pollution, I have cropped out the tree line so that we’re just left with sky.

In Australian Aboriginal Mythology there are stories about the “Coalsack” which is a dark dust cloud next to the Crux constellation otherwise known as the “Southern Cross” (on the right side of the image), some Aboriginal groups say it is a possum in a tree or the head of a lawman, however many other groups tell stories of a great emu who’s head is the Coalsack, and whose neck, body, and legs are formed from dust lanes stretching across the Milky Way.


If you would like to read more about the Emu In The Sky and other Aboriginal Mythology relating to astronomy then visit the ABC Science page.

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One Comment

  1. Alison June 19, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Great pictures and love that you tell a little story too. Far more interesting reading.

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