30 minutes exposure on Fuji Provia 400 film. 35mm f/4 Canon lens.

An Emu is a large, flightless bird native to Australia, not unlike a small ostrich. It is featured on the Australian coat of arms along with the kangeroo, and on the reverse side of the 50 cent coin. It is also one of the few easily recognised sky formations of the Australian aboriginies. It is actually not a group of stars, but rather formed from the dark nebulae that run from the Southern Cross to Scorpius.

The head of the Emu is the Coalsack nebula, visible here near the top of the photograph. The long neck is the dark nebula stretching through Centaurus and Norma, while the body and legs are formed from the many branches and wide regions in Scorpius at the bottom of the photograph. Since the dark nebulae forming the legs are curled, the Emu is pictured as crouched on its nest. Interestingly, at the time of the year that the Emu is rising in the early evening (April/May) the Emus are nesting. For southern hemisphere observers in a moderately dark sky, the formation is easily seen and quite striking. Another wider field view of the Emu can be seen here.