Purra the Kanganaut
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The Australian Space Agency logo has a strong link between space and Australia’s Indigenous people, who are the world’s oldest astronomers. At first glance the logo appears as a satellite view of Australia, the dots allude to the light created from human life and industry. On closer inspection the logo reveals Indigenous constellations representing dreamtime stories, subtly referencing the artistic methods of our first nations people.
The Australian Space Agency logo reminds us that we are here to serve our nation, honour our past and build the future.
Purra is culturally significant as its name is connected to an Australian Indigenous astronomy story that’s included in the Australian Space Agency brand.
There is a strong connection between space and Australia’s Indigenous people, who have a rich history using space for more than 65,000 years. The sky has been critical to them in determining seasonal activities around food and movement, and is a reflection of what’s happening on the land.
Purra is a red kangaroo that was pursued by the hunters Wanjel and Yuree. This is a story from the Boorong People of Victoria, which can be visualied across the stars in the southern hemisphere.
Purra appears in the north-east of the southern sky in mid to late August just before dawn. The major star in Purra is Capella. It then disappears in the early evening of late February, followed later by the appearance of its pursuers, Wanjel and Yuree. A line drawn from Wanjel through to Yuree towards the horizon connects with Purra. The Boorong people consider stars Castor and Pollux in the Gemini constellation to represent each hunter.
Take home your very own replica of Purra the kangaroo, who was selected by the Australian Space Agency as symbol of Australia and our partnership with NASA.
- Ages 3+
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