Press Release

Hubble IMAX Film Takes Viewers on Ride Through Space and Time

By SpaceRef Editor
June 24, 2004
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Take a virtual ride to the outer reaches of the universe and explore
10 billion years of galactic history, from fully formed and majestic
spiral galaxies to disheveled collections of stars just beginning to

This unforgettable cosmic journey is presented in the award-winning
IMAX short film, “Hubble: Galaxies Across Space and Time,” which
transforms images and data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope into a
voyage that sweeps viewers across the cosmos. Using the 650-megapixel-mosaic
image created by the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS), more
than 11,000 galaxy images were extracted and assembled into an accurate
3-D model for the three-minute movie. The large-format film was created by
a team of Hubble image and visualization experts in the Office of Public
Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md.
The film was directed by Frank Summers, an astrophysicist and science
visualization specialist.

Galaxies are vast assemblages of stars, gas, and dust. And viewers
experience these majestic cities of stars on a movie screen as tall as
a five-story building. The film opens with looming images of two mature
galaxies that are relatively nearby Earth, and then pans through the
vibrant and diverse panorama of thousands of galaxies in the GOODS

The ensuing 3-D journey through these galaxies provides more than just
a new perspective in space, it also takes the audience back in time.
Because light takes time to cross space, the galaxies farther away from
Earth are seen further back in cosmic history. The virtual voyage reveals
galaxies as they appeared billions of years ago, when they were still in
the process of forming.

The movie has been so well received that it recently won the “Best Short
Feature” award at the Large Format Cinema Association’s 2004 Film
Festival in Los Angeles, CA. The Hubble movie premiered in April at the
Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, and is currently also playing at
the Rueben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, Calif., and the New
Detroit Science Center in Detroit, Mich. Distribution to several dozen
other large-format theaters will occur over the coming months and years.

The film is based on data from the GOODS project, a collaboration
between Hubble, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space
Telescope, and several ground-based observatories. The observations with
the Advanced Camera for Surveys, one of the largest Hubble projects ever,
provided deep images of a small patch of sky covering about one-third of
the projected area of the full moon. That patch contains nearly 30,000
galaxies, which were cross-matched against a ground-based redshift survey
to get distances for the 3-D model.

Actress Barbara Feldon is the film’s narrator, and space music composer
Jonn Serrie wrote the surround-sound score. The STScI film team consists
of John Stoke, Zoltan Levay, Lisa Frattare, Greg Bacon, John Godfrey,
Bryan Preston, and summer intern Leigh Fletcher.

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is operated by the
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), for
NASA, under contract with the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt,
MD. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation
between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). DKP/70MM Productions,
Inc., a subsidiary of IMAX Corporation donated their services and
created a negative and first print from the Hubble digital frames.

SpaceRef staff editor.