W.J. McCallion Planetarium


Department of Physics & Astronomy > W.J. McCallion Planetarium
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Banner and navigation constellation images from the open source planetarium software, Stellarium:


Current Schedule

Reserve your tickets and manage your reservations here. Tickets may be available at the door, but this is not guaranteed. If a show is sold out you can choose to be added to the waiting list, and you will be notified if seats become available. Please note that if you are late, your reserved tickets may be given away to those without reservations.

Date Show Description
April 26, 2017
Gravity in Space: From Orbits to Gravitational Waves
We all are familiar with gravity, the force that lets us stand on the ground and causes things to fall on our heads. But how does this force change and what does it do when we zoom out to the scale of our Solar System? Or when we look at incredibly massive objects like black holes? In this show, we will move from Newton to Einstein, learning about how gravity allows us to stand on the ground, causes planets to capture moons, and warps space and time itself to create the awe-inspiring recently discovered gravitational waves.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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May 3, 2017
Introductory Astronomy for Kids - Solar System
Join us at the planetarium for a show especially geared towards a younger audience (around 8-15years old) and their family members. We'll first take you on a tour around the night skies seen from Hamilton, and then focus on the many fascinating bodies within our Solar System. Along the way we will visit all of the Planets, some of the most interesting moons, and even more if time permits!
Show Times: 5:45pm, 7:00pm
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May 10, 2017
Life in the Universe
Astrobiology is the study of the origin and evolution of life in the universe. The field encompasses both life on Earth and any forms life may take outside of it. We will discuss ways astronomers might be able to detect life on other planets as well as investigate how life and organic matter can exist in extraterrestrial environments and even be transported through the vacuum of space to spread to other worlds! The search for liquid water beyond Earth is of incredible importance to many fields of science but it is especially so for Astrobiologists because everywhere we have ever found liquid water (on Earth) we have found life, regardless of any other conditions. The search for liquid water is also a part of the search for life so come to the planetarium to discuss the many extraterrestrial environments, both expected and unexpected that we have found water and discover the cutting edge of research in our search for the origins of life.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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May 17, 2017
Star Wars: The Science Awakens
Is it possible to create a lightsaber? Is the Millennium Falcon really “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy”? How much energy would the Death Star require to destroy Earth? Can planets like Tatooine and Hoth exist in our Universe? How close are humans from creating robots like R2-D2 and C-3PO? Could the Force ever be a reality? Prepare yourself for a memorable Star Wars experience in a planetarium not far away from you. Visit McCallion Planetarium this year and May the Force be with you!
Show Times: 7:00pm
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May 24, 2017
Reflection in the Planetarium
The night sky is a teacher of many lessons. Astronomy has taught us so much about our Universe, from how the Universe behaves at the largest scales to how our own home planet was formed. Perhaps more important than that, however, are the lessons the sky teaches us about ourselves: how connected we are to the Universe and to each other, how important it is to stop and take a different perspective every now and then, how our place in the Universe inspires great humility, and how grateful we should feel to be here at all. Join us to reflect on these concepts as we use the planetarium to not only look outward but inward as well.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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May 31, 2017
Matters of Size
It is an astounding fact that the laws of Nature at different scales can be understood separately---e.g., you don't need to know about atoms to know how a baseball soars into the stands. Still more remarkable is that astronomy affords us opportunities to study science at almost all scales. In this show, we'll see examples of how astronomy can be used to study the very small, the very large, and the very in-between.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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June 7, 2017
Introductory Astronomy for Kids - Galaxies
Join us at the planetarium for a show especially geared toward younger audiences (8-15 years old) and their family members. You’ve seen the Sun and the Moon, the planets, and the Hamilton night sky, but what’s beyond the Solar System? In this show, we’ll journey through the Milky Way and discuss our Solar System’s place in the Galaxy and our Galaxy’s place in the Universe. How long will it take to get to the nearest stars and to visit other worlds? What’s in the centre of the Galaxy? How does our Galaxy compare to others? We’ll answer all of these questions and more!
Show Times: 5:45pm, 7:00pm
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June 14, 2017
The Invisible Universe
Light is all around us, both as distant stars in the night sky, and from the Sun illuminating our days. But what about the light that we can not see with our own eyes? Advancements in technology have allowed astronomers to see the Universe from the radio all the way to the X-ray. This invisible light reveals a view of the Universe unseen by the human eye. Come explore this invisible realm of astronomy with us at the McCallion planetarium!
Show Times: 7:00pm
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June 21, 2017
Exploring the Red Planet
Meet our nearest neighbouring planet, Mars! For decades, we have been fascinated by this red planet and the secrets it holds, waiting to be unlocked. Home to some of the highest mountains and largest valleys in the Solar System, Mars could also host life and maybe one day, even us! Join us as we explore Mars and its alien landscape, the past, present and future of Mars exploration and what we've learned along the way.
Show Times: 5:45pm, 7:00pm
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June 28, 2017
Asteroids: Vermin of the Sky
Will an asteroid impact someday cause the extinction of the human race? Asteroids can destroy life, but they may have also been necessary to form life in the first place. These “vermin of the sky” have secrets to the origin of life preserved in their interiors; waiting to be revealed by future sample-return spacecraft. They are also an untapped source of ultra-high- grade precious metals and rocket fuel. This show will cover everything there is to know about asteroids. Come learn about one of the most precarious threats to human existence.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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