|Astronaut Chris Cassidy|
|Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego|
This past weekend I attended a preview event hosted by the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park, San Diego. I also had the privilege to meet and chat with astronaut Chris Cassidy who has been part of several space missions. As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and serving a ten year stint as a Navy Seal, Cassidy was drawn to the idea of being an astronaut. His comments to me and answers to audience questions greatly enhanced the experience of viewing the film depicting celestial events in outer space. To complement NASA’s multimedia exhibit “Destination Station”, the Fleet Center presented the new IMAX movie called “Hidden Universe”. This film highlights our universe through amazing high resolution images captured by the world’s most powerful telescopes. Two telescopes in the remote Atacama Desert of Chile shot most of the images seen in this film exploring the earliest galaxies, distant celestial objects including gas nebulas, stars being born in vivid clouds of gas and dust, precise images of the Mars landscape and excerpts of daily life for the scientists and crew studying and working at the telescopes in Chile. These telescopes, called The VLT(Very Large Telescope) located at Paranal Observatory, and the ALMA telescope(Atacama Large Millimeter Array) is actually 66 dishes connected to operate as one giant “eye on the sky”. ALMA sees into the darkest regions of space by capturing images with wavelengths outside visible light in space. “Hidden Universe” is a fantastic visual journey that anyone can enjoy.