The Swinburne Astronomy Productions team has been awarded the 2015 David Allen Prize for exceptional achievement in astronomy communication.
The prize is awarded by the Astronomical Society of Australia and has only been presented four times since 2001.
The Swinburne Astronomy Productions team comprises producer/director Russell Scott, lead animator Sam Moorfield and outreach coordinator Associate Professor Chris Fluke.
Swinburne Astronomy Productions was nominated for the prize by Australian Astronomical Observatory Director and former Director of Swinburne’s Centre for Astrophysics and supercomputing Professor Warrick Couch.
“For more than a decade, the Swinburne Astronomy Productions team has inspired a fascination in the Universe through the creation of cinema quality animations and imagery,” Professor Couch said.
“The unique blend of innovative techniques such as 3D projection, high resolution imagery and models and real world astronomical datasets, combined with well-crafted stories has enabled Swinburne Astronomy Productions to produce a powerful educational message about the beauty and wonder of astronomy and the achievements of astronomers.”
Swinburne Astronomy Productions’ work engaging and educating school children through the AstroTour program recently celebrated its 25,000th visitor at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus.
The astronomy-themed movies produced and featured in this program have also been screened at national and international 3D theatres.
The 2013 IMAX movie Hidden Universe 3D (2013), in which Swinburne Astronomy Productions partnered with December Media and Film Victoria, has now been seen by more than one million people in 36 theatres around the world.
Swinburne Astronomy Productions has also created imagery and short animated sequences to help illustrate key astronomy principles, contributing to an outstanding portfolio of astronomy outreach and communication.
For information on the prize, see the Astronomical Society of Australia website.