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
June 20, 2018
Ripples in the Fabric of the Universe
In February, 2016, the experimental detection of gravitational waves was announced, changing the world of observational astronomy forever. This awe-inspiring experiment detected ripples in spacetime itself, allowing us to observe massive objects in space by not only seeing the light that they emit or reflect, but also by detecting the gravitational energy that they produce. Now, we are entering a new era of astronomy where we are able to detect massive catastrophes in space, such as colliding black holes and neutron stars. But what exactly are black holes and neutron stars? How did we manage to detect these fantastic objects? And what even is a "ripple" in "spacetime"? We will answer all of these questions and more, which will hopefully leave you feeling both enlightened and craving to learn even more.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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June 27, 2018
Death from the Skies!
Asteroids and supernovae and black holes - oh my! In this show, we'll be covering the myriad of ways in which the Universe is trying to kill us all. But don't panic! In addition to touring some of the most violent places in the Universe, you'll discover just how likely (or unlikely) these cosmic catastrophes really are. Bring your favorite astronomical conspiracy theory or apocalyptic prediction and we'll discuss what the observations really say. Tinfoil hat not required!
Show Times: 7:00pm
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July 4, 2018
Introductory Astronomy for Kids - Solar System
Join us at the planetarium for a show geared toward younger audiences (8-15 years old) and their family members. We'll first take you on a tour of the night skies seen from Hamilton, and the 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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July 11, 2018
New Solar System Discoveries
Did you know new celestial objects are discovered beyond Neptune's orbit nearly every month? Some of which are nearly the size of Pluto? Did you know Earth has a 2nd Moon? Have you heard the latest on the search for the elusive "Planet Nine?" Is there really a planet called Niribu in our solar system that will soon impact the Earth? In this show, we take a journey through recent history and show the latest Solar System discoveries. We also reveal which alleged objects in our solar system cannot actually be there. The solar system remains vastly uncharted, but the observations we've done so far help us better constrain what is left to find.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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July 18, 2018
Space Explosions
An old and massive star reaches the end of its life but it is not going to go quietly. It collapses into itself and explodes in a tremendous show of light and energy to outshine entire galaxies for one brief moment before its light is forever extinguished. A supermassive black hole, millions of times larger than the sun lurks as the center of a faraway galaxy. It draws in material from its surroundings to form a magnificent glowing disk of light which ejects a great pillar of high energy particles out into the universe. Solar flares, x-ray bursters, novas and more. Come to the planetarium and learn how these destructive events can happen and what is left behind.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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July 25, 2018
Carl Sagan's Universe
"The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be," proclaims Carl Sagan in the opening of his landmark television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Sagan, who during his life made many important contributions to the scientific understanding of our Solar System, was best known for his extraordinary ability to convey the significance and wonder of science to general audiences. We will voyage through the Solar System and the Universe beyond while drawing inspiration from writings of Dr. Sagan along the way. Carl Sagan once famously stated: "We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." Join your fellow sentient collections of star-stuff and learn about the Universe from which we came.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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August 1, 2018
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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August 8, 2018
Rust and Stardust
Have you ever looked up at the starry sky and felt small and insignificant compared to the vastness of the cosmos? What you will learn in this show is that you are actually made of the exact same material as these sparky dots up there. Stars produce the elements that compose everything you see -- yourselves included -- while they are born, live and die in the cosmic ocean. Visit the McCallion Planetarium this year and find out that you are literally made of stardust!
Show Times: 7:00pm
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