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PHOTOGRAPHER: Benjamin Alldridge

In a narrow sliver of Tasmania’s highlands, one species dominates the landscape: the Miena Cider Gum (Eucalyptus gunnii subsp. divaricata). Found in only a few dozen hectares of exposed plateau, many members of the population have left ghostly remains after extensive fire damage. Owing to Bortle 1 skies (the darkest class of sky, akin to the void of space with no terrestrial interference to inhibit visibility of faint details) the area serves as fertile ground for imaging, often pairing both galactic and atmospheric sights – such as the “dark emu”, intensely colourful airglow, and the aurora as seen on this evening – seamlessly.


This photograph was a finalist in Beaker Street’s annual Science Photography Prize. This highly-respected prize invites all Tasmanians to showcase the wonders of our extraordinary part of the world — which is teeming with science and scientists. Finalist images are displayed at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery during Beaker Street Festival each August, with great prizes on offer for Judges’ and People’s Choice winners.

The Beaker Street Science Photography Prize would not be possible without the support of Full Gamut, Tasmania’s premier fine art printers and long-time sponsor of this competition. Many thanks also go to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, which donates a generous prize for the People’s Choice winner.