Hubble 3D is back for a limited time!

Amazing Astronomy
See more Hubble images.

Working for a science museum, I can tell you I’ve enjoyed a lot of IMAX movies. But Hubble 3D is on my short list for BEST EVER.

First: they took an IMAX camera to space.

Hubble 3D tells the story of the last mission to repair the Hubble Telescope – one of the most extraordinary scientific instruments ever created.

And I don’t know if you’ve noticed – but space is big. Really, really big. Bigger than we’re capable of comprehending, really. So an IMAX format works really well here.

Also: it’s in 3D

I know what you’re thinking. So is everything else. You saw Avatar in 3D and thought “meh.” But trust me – this film is the application 3D technology was searching for. In addition to blasting you into outer space on the back of the space shuttle’s rocket*, Hubble 3D takes you inside extremely high resolution Hubble images – flies you through them, really – until you really feel like you’ve experienced the Universe.

Finally: limited time!

Don’t take my word for it – Hubble 3D is one of the most popular IMAX films we’ve ever shown. Which is why it’s back, but only through Nov. 10! So check out the previews, get the film schedule and plan your trip to see this extraordinary film!

*Pretty much the most awe-inspiring experience non-astronauts can have. Until they slap an IMAX camera on this.

Labor Day! Fun For The Long Weekend At HMNS

Monday is Labor Day – and you know what that means, right?

LONG WEEKEND.

In case you’re wondering how to fill the long hours between Friday afternoon and Tuesday morning, here’s a list of the top ten weekend experiences you can have with the family at HMNS all weekend long.

That’s right – we’re open MONDAY! Because we’re here for you. 

10. Come And Take It!

A look at the stunning variety of fascinating artifacts from Texas’ rich history, that is.

Come And Take It
The Come And Take It Cannon!
See a full set of photos from the exhibit on Flickr

Texas! The Exhibition closes at 5 pm on Monday, Sept 5 – so don’t miss your last chance to see Santa Anna’s spurs, Davy Crockett’s violin, the Davis Guards Medal and many other objects from a huge swath of Texas history – from prehistoric cultures to the Spindletop oil gusher.

Preview the exhibit with our blog series on Texas History! (And see how you can win free tickets to see the exhibit closing weekend!)

9. Ramble through Borneo with Orangutans

And while you’re at it, explore Tsavo with young elephants.

Born To Be Wild
The cuteness! See it this weekend in Born To Be Wild 3D at HMNS!

Born To Be Wild 3D is a fascinating, entertaining and heart-warming film chronicling the efforts of two pioneering women to save orphaned animals.

Time Out New York says “The kids will squeal with delight.” We think you probably will, too.

8. Discover The True Meaning of Mayan Prophecies 

2012: Mayan Prophecies
2012: Mayan Prophecies in the HMNS Planetarium

Worried about 2012? Explore the Mayan culture in this new planetarium film. Learn why Dec. 21, 2012 will be just another day, but the Mayan culture’s true contributions to civilization are unique and fascinating.

7. Solve A Crime!

If watching CSI makes you think you think “I could do that!” – this exhibit is for you! Study fingerprints, chromatographs, DNA, insect lifecycles, tire marks, hair analysis, thread comparison, and handwriting analysis to catch the culprit!

Crime Lab Detective opens at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land on Saturday, Sept. 3!

6. Watch A Butterfly Enter The World!

Cockrell Butterfly Center

Our butterflies flit through a three-story, glass enclosed rain forest habitat – and it’s a showstopper of the large-scale variety. But you shouldn’t miss the Hall of Entomology on the upper level – where you can watch butterflies emerge from their chrysalides daily. It’s a quiet moment of tranformation, rebirth and wonder that everyone should experience.

5. Discover a Modern-Day Dragon

Think all dragons breathe fire? Some just flash it – including The Dragon, one of the world’s most famous mineral specimens.

The Dragon | HMNS Mineral Hall

It just so happens to be part of our collection – on permanent display in the Hall of Gems and Minerals, along with literally hundreds of the world’s finest gems and minerals. Hundreds. 

4. Develop An Intense Desire To Wear This.

Ancient Ukraine Exhibit at HMNS
Preview the entire exhibition in this set of photos on Flickr.

If you’ve followed our advice on #4, you’ve likely whetted your appetite for gold. And our Ancient Ukraine exhibition (closing Sept. 5!) could be called: Gold! Oh, And Some More Gold. (Except that it also features fascinating artifacts made from many other materials, from the entire 6,000 year history of Ukraine.)

Get an idea of what you’re in for in our curator’s blog series on Ancient Ukraine.

3. Spend Saturday With The Stars!

George Observatory

Long weekends are the perfect time to make the long drive out to our George Observatory. It’s an hour outside Houston, but that means light pollution is at a minimum – and stars are at a maximum.

If you’ve never been, you will marvel  at the number of stars you can see with the naked eye – and the astronomical detail you can view through our Gueymard telescope, one of the largest in the country that’s available for public viewing.

The Observatory is open every Saturday night from 3 – 10 pm. Get Directions and information on Admission.

2. Explore Two Continents

Hall of the Americas

Our Hall of the Americas features cultures from the Inuit in Alaska to the Inca of Peru – go on an expedition through hundred of years of American history and over 2 continents this weekend!

1. Take The Science Fun Home!

The HMNS Museum Store has a metric ton of science ideas and activities to take home – and your purchases always support our science educational programs! Grab the Pocket Starfinder for your Big Bend camping excursion, take the Encyclopedia of Texas Shells on a seashore expedition, or identify what’s fluttering around your own backyard with the Butterflies of Houston and Southeast Texas Guide.

From a Galileo Thermometer to track the summer heat to a Dinosaur Hunter Field Canteen, we’ve got everything you need to close out the summer right!

Here’s to a great long weekend – hope to see you here at HMNS!

Solve a Mystery 75 Years in the Making – Who First Climbed Everest

In 1924 George Mallory and his team attempted to climb Mount Everest. They were last spotted only 800 feet from the summit, before they disappeared completely. It is unknown whether Mallory died before he made it to the top. If he and his team reached the summit, they would have been the first people to have climbed Everest. Mallory’s body was never found, until climber Conrad Anker discovered it frozen and intact 75 years later.

See Wildest Dream: The Conquest of Everestnow playing in our IMAX Theatre. This amazing IMAX story follows George Mallory’s life and incredible journey, recreating it from letters and interviews with his relatives. Linking the past with the future, Anker attempts to climb Everest using the same route and equipment available to Mallory, to try and solve a mystery 75 years in the making: did Mallory make it to the top?

Never-before-seen archival footage combines with the spectacle and grandeur of present-day Everest on the world’s largest screen to portray an adventure — shrouded in mystery — that spans generations.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Born to be Wild 3D – Coming Soon to IMAX!

Sumatran Orang-utan
Creative Commons License photo credit: Chester Zoo

Who doesn’t love animals? Here at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, we not only love animals, we relish the chance to share that love with our visitors. What better way than to announce an upcoming 3D IMAX film that follows the tale of a cute orangutan and an adorable baby elephant.

Born to be Wild 3D is an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them—saving endangered species one life at a time.

Animal Innocence.
Creative Commons License photo credit: matrianklw

Stunningly captured in IMAX 3D, Born to be Wild 3D is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne Sheldrick, as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.

This film is narrated by Academy-Award® winner Morgan Freeman.

Adorable animals?
Check!

Interacting with Humans?
Check!

Soothing voice of Morgan Freeman narrating?
Check!

On a six story tall IMAX screen in 3D?
Check, check, and check!

Get excited for Born to be Wild 3D, swinging into the Wortham IMAX Theatre May 27, 2011

Can’t see the video? Click here.