W.J. McCallion Planetarium
 
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Banner and navigation constellation images from the open source planetarium software, Stellarium:

http://www.stellarium.org/
 

Show Content

Public shows begin with a general introduction to the night sky, including famous constellations and apparent motions of celestial objects, followed by an indepth presentation on the particular theme of the public show. All shows are live and interactive, so you can ask a question at any time during the presentation.

Our private shows are geared toward educating the audience about the Earth and its relationship to the Solar System and the rest of the Universe. Show material will depend on the age and nature of the audience. When appropriate, current events in the skies of Hamilton will be described and illustrated. Shows typically last about an hour, depending on the interest and age of the audience. Emphasis of the first section of the show is on constellations (dominated by those up at the current time of the year) including the Dippers and North Star. The second section of the show takes you on a tour of the planets in our Solar System. Along the way, other fascinating objects inside and outside of our own Galaxy are also shown if time and interest permit.

If you would like to request an alternative topic to the above private show material, please click here for a list of available shows.

The planetarium is a part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and we make presentations from the best scientific evidence on hand. We do not modify the content of shows to accommodate groups with ideologies that contradict this evidence.

Daytime shows are available for school and community groups and evening shows may be arranged for scouting groups. Most months we offer shows for the general public. Please contact the Planetarium via planetarium@physics.mcmaster.ca or 905-525-9140 ext. 27777 to make a booking or to obtain more information. For more information on booking a show, click here.

Planetarium shows are given primarily by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster and occasionally by faculty. Individuals interested in other astronomical pursuits in and around Hamilton can contact the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers or the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Hamilton Centre. The Children's International Learning Centre of downtown Hamilton runs an interactive 90 minute show more appropriate for very young children (6 years and under). They can be reached at 905-529-8813.

Curriculum and Badge Links

Curriculum Summary
Grade 1: Daily and season changes. The Sun is the the principle source of energy for the Earth.
Grade 6: Space exploration and the Solar System (planets, moons, asteroids, comets).
Grade 9: Formation, evolution, structure and nature of the Solar System and the Universe. The appearance and motion of visible celestial objects. Astronomical Units and light years. Space exploration and Canadian contributions.
Grade 12: Origin and evolution of the Solar System. Mass, size, rotation, composition and magnetic field of the various planets and moons. Near-Earth space investigations including spacecraft (e.g., International Space Station), and humanity's negative effects (e.g., space debris and pollution of the electromagnetic spectrum).
 
For further information on all the science curricula, please see the following links:
Grades 1-8
Grades 9-10
Grades 11-12
 
Cubs, Brownies, and Guides badge links:
Cubs - Astronomer Badge
Astronomy in the Guides and Scouts Programs