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VIDEO: IMAX ‘Hubble’ offers thrilling views of universe

“Hubble” is an all-new IMAX movie experience about the Hubble Space Telescope.

And what, exactly, is that?

Back in April of 1990, the Hubble Telescope was launched into orbit with the hope that it would allow NASA and the public to see pictures of our galaxy and far beyond. Though the main mirror was warped and had to be fixed, Hubble has fulfilled its purpose.

Most of the film takes place in 2009, when the seven astronauts of the Atlantis STS-125 crew went on a mission to repair the telescope so that it would function for several more years.

Director Toni Myers (“Space Station”) does a great job of making “Hubble” both a human story and a visual journey into outer space. Myers lets us learn about the astronauts, including the pilot, Gregory Johnson, the commander, Scott Altman, and the five mission specialists. In their interviews, they talk about their jobs and what they hope the space shuttle servicing mission will accomplish. The moments with the crew give the audience a reason to care about the fate of Hubble.

he visual imagery is an impressive mix of live action and sequences that are taken from Hubble data. The scenes that especially stand out are the ones that show vast parts of the galaxy, like the Orion Nebula. The film captures an alien part of space that is both shocking and magical.

There is strong narration from Leonardo DiCaprio. The script is full of interesting facts as well as pathos and, occasionally, humor. His voiceover is entertaining because he’s able to talk seriously about the importance of Hubble without adding schmaltz or explicative preachiness

“Hubble” is an intimate look at how far technology and man have come. It is worth seeing not only because it is so informative but also because it is an amazing IMAX experience. Even though the film is not shown in 3D at this venue, it almost appears as though you are watching a 3D format. The special screen at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center enhances the presentation so much that it’s as though the movie was shot especially for this theater.

The Hubble telescope may not last forever. But it will be remembered as a tool that helped us learn secrets of our universe.

Rating: ★★★1/2 (out of four)

Event info

What: “Hubble”

When: Movie time changes daily

Where: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park in San Diego

How much: $11.75 to $14.50

Tickets/information: (619) 238-1233; www.rhfleet.org

David Dixon is an SDNN contributor.