Hubble 3D Debuts at IMAX Theaters

Space and wrap around theaters…is there a better combination for a mind blowing experience? Hubble 3D debuts in Imax theaters nationwide today. To celebrate, find the top 10 Hubble images below.

The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the finest achievements of technology of mankind. Its significance towards inspiring a generation of astronomy enthusiasts is virtually unparallelled, and it boasts such contributions towards our understanding of the cosmos as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, often referred to as ‘The Most Important Image Ever Taken.’

Hubble 3D is a film is split into 2 parts. The first part is the final repair mission of the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. The second part consists of a virtual flight through the universe. The online reviews so far have been positive, despite many warnings about a narrative that is heavy on clichés.

Julie Washington writes, “The Imax cargo bay camera lets us witness the ingenuity and bravery of the two astronauts who tackle the oversize fix-it job while hanging in space. An ingenious camera attached to the astronauts’ helmets lets us see the world’s highest workshop as the Earth wheels by in the distance. Unfortunately, this is about as fascinating as watching a plumber work under your sink.”

Tom Keogh of the Seattle Times adds, “Hubble 3D” has, by far, the most dazzling footage of human beings trying to make sometimes confounding repairs to the machine with Earth in the background.”

Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times continues, “The Imax format, thankfully, makes it easy to block out all those “billions” — number of stars, number of light years — that Mr. DiCaprio is dutifully intoning and instead turn things over to your eyes, just letting them feast. An interesting fly-through effect gives the illusion of traveling across the universe, going deeper and deeper into space just as Hubble’s gaze has done. And the concluding image of a giant web of light, a sort of compilation of all that Hubble’s eye registers, is something to see.”

Without further adieu, here are some of the finest Hubble images taken by this amazing machine…


10 Responses to Hubble 3D Debuts at IMAX Theaters

  1. Sarah Chino March 19, 2010 at 11:52 am

    i’m obsessed. i need to see this in IMAX!

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  3. Gilbert Mercier
    Gilbert Mercier March 19, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you for this incredible visual feast, Mr. Olson. This is a MUST see, hats off to you again!!!

  4. free movie downloads March 19, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    It’s beyond ignorant to think that there isn’t more life just in our own galaxy, let alone the whole universe. For every star in our galaxy, there’s at least another galaxy out there, each with probably a similar concentration of life.

  5. Celeb Toast March 19, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks for this mind blowing visual feast. The Hubble images are amazing.It is a must see!i’m really excited to watch it! can’t wait anymore!

  6. rgriffsf March 21, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I just hope that it is real IMAX and not the fake IMAX that they have been peddling lately. I was extremely upset when I recently went to View Avatar in Seattle only to find that the IMAX was only the film projector and not the screen. The screen really was no bigger than the normal screens. Make sure before you buy the ticket that the screen is IMAX size and not just the projector type.

  7. Maxii March 22, 2010 at 3:50 am

    How do you add a third dimension to Hubble images?

    • Matthew Hall March 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      That’s a good question, Maxii – I’m on the team (the Advanced Visualization Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, that developed the two long rendered 3D sequences, including the Orion nebula flythrough, and the journey from the Milky Way to the Hubble ultra-deep field, and beyond.

      We try very hard to make our rendered sequences as scientifically based as possible – these are not solely ‘artists interpretations’ (however, there is some artistic license used). Here is a partial list of the ways we obtained the 3D structure for the various shots in the show:

      -For the Orion flythrough, we used high resolution Hubble imagery, plus models of the basic structure of the shape of the nebula obtained from our partners at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), who used a variety of techniques (both from Hubble imagery and from theoretical models) to map the structure and star locations. We did develop our own rendering techniques to give it the nebular ‘feel’, but we did so with input from astronomers.

      -For the ultra deep field shot, Hubble spectroscopic data were used to determine approximate distances to each galaxy in the image (via their red-shift).

      -For other models visible in the 3D rendered shots, we used a variety of sources, including other telescopic data (such as the galaxy positions, obtained from Dr. Brent Tully), scientific simulation results (for the cosmic web image at the end), and conglomerate models (such as that of the Milky Way) which are based on observed data, images of similar galaxies, and theoretical results.

      We don’t want people to get the idea that our rendered sequences, which take up about 1/4th of the show, reflect actual Hubble capabiliities, and if I recall correctly, the narration does distinguish our animations from the very stunning still Hubble imagery (some depth was added to them by STScI, but they were a separate team, so I can’t say how they did it).

      I hope this answered your question,

      P.S. – I am writing this off the top of my head, and it should be fairly accurate, but any errors in describing the methods our team used are entirely my own.

  8. Boneman March 22, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Too bad everything in space is colorless… black and white.

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