Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery (ESA/Hubble, 2005)

by Mark Gabrish Conlan • Copyright © 2013 by Mark Gabrish Conlan • All rights reserved

Charles, our friend Garry and I watched a DVD he’d brought over of a 2005 German documentary called Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery, an interesting if somewhat disappointing and rather lumbering documentary about all the cool stuff the Hubble space telescope has shown us about the universe. It was directed by Lars Lindberg Christensen and written by him with Stuart Clark and Stefania Varano, and it was a bit disappointing in that though it promised actual images from the Hubble telescope, most of what was really shown was computer animations and simulations of what merging galaxies and the like would theoretically look like (though since their interactions would take place over a period of billions of years this is really time-lapsed time-lapse photography!). I joked that since the show described galaxies as encountering each other in space and their gravitational fields pulling them together and merging them into super-galaxies, some Ayn Rand Libertarian at a science-fiction convention would probably cite that as yet more “evidence” that lassiez-faire capitalism is the one good, true and moral economic system: “You see, even in outer space galaxies do mergers and acquisitions!” I had expected this to be about 45 minutes (the usual length of an hour-long TV program less commercials) but it was nearly an hour and a half and it did tend to drag.