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

http://www.stellarium.org/
 

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
August 27, 2014
The Astronomy of Shakespeare
"O, swear not by the moon, th'inconstant moon
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable."

Throughout his work, Shakespeare makes consistent use of the heavens to help convey everything from the feelings and thoughts of his characters to simply the passage of time. Shakespeare not only had a firm grasp on the behaviour of the cosmos, but appeared to have a keen interest in it as well! As part of our tour through the Solar System and beyond, we will compare various references to the night sky in the works of Shakespeare to their real-world counterparts in attempts to decipher their meaning. We will also explore how the scientific beliefs of Shakespeare's time influenced his writing, and how they have evolved over time.
Show Times: 7:00pm
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September 3, 2014
Introductory Astronomy for Kids
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 on to the planets in our Solar System. Along the way, other fascinating objects inside and outside of our own Galaxy will also be shown if time and interest permit.
Show Times: 5:45pm, 7:00pm
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September 10, 2014
The Life and Times of Betelgeuse
Astronomers often use language to describe evolutionary stages in stars that is decidedly human. From stellar birth to death, companions to mid-life we use descriptive words that suggest stars are alive. Using the red-supergiant Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion as our subject, we'll explore the evolutionary stages of stars and our choice of language - from birth through independence and mid-life to eventual death. We'll also explore some of the possible fates of Betelgeuse, covering scenarios ranging from supernova to neutron stars and black holes and how this could affect Earth.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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September 17, 2014
Moons of the Solar System
Our Solar System is home to eight planets, a diverse family of worlds. While many are familiar with the incredible sights of these planets, fewer know that there is even more variety among these planets - 173 moons. In this show, I will take you through a tour of some of the more spectacular moons of the Solar System, from icy Europa, to volcanic Io. Along the way, we will learn about how planets and moons form when a solar system begins to coalesce. We will also learn about the incredible story of how our own Moon formed.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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September 24, 2014
101 Fuzzy Observations: Charles Messier and His Catalogue of Extra-Solar Objects
Charles Messier (1730-1817) was a French astronomer who, throughout his lifetime, discovered a total of 13 comets; however, these were not his greatest contribution to astronomy. When searching for these comets, he would often come across fuzzy non-comet objects. As he was primarily interested in comets, these fuzzy objects were nothing but an annoyance to him. In order to aid him and other comet hunters like him, Messier kept a record of the location of these objects; the entire list he published in 1771. Nowadays, this list of 101 objects is known as the Messier catalogue and includes a wide variety of extra-solar objects, such as star clusters, supernova remnants, and nearby galaxies. Even today, his catalogue is still significant for both professional and amateur astronomers. Join us as we explore many of these same objects Messier discovered, including your favourite Messier object!
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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October 1, 2014
Introductory Astronomy for Kids
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 on to the planets in our Solar System. Along the way, other fascinating objects inside and outside of our own Galaxy will also be shown if time and interest permit.
Show Times: 5:45pm, 7:00pm
Reserve Tickets
October 8, 2014
Eclipses
What are the different types of eclipses, why don't they occur more often, and how can we safely observe them? During this show we'll discuss the answers to these questions, as well as when can we next see such events from southern Ontario. We'll also explore other types of transits, eclipses and occultations that we can see not only from the Earth, but also other places in the Solar System.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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October 15, 2014
Backyard Astronomy
Backyard astronomy sounds simple enough: get a telescope, point it at the sky and take a look. When you look at the night sky through a telescope you'll see many points of lights. How do you find certain objects? What kind of objects can you see? What kind of telescope should you use? Join us at the planetarium as we go through the essentials of gazing at the night sky with a telescope.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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October 22, 2014
Life in the Universe - Setting the Stage
Life is the most complex chemical process that we know of. Even the simplest organisms are composed of millions of atoms, arranged in a staggering number of different compounds. But life as we know it is not something that has always existed. For 10 billion years, the universe was, to the best of our knowledge, lifeless. But these countless aeons were not spent in stagnation. The universe itself was evolving, growing, and the changes that were taking place in it set the stage for the eventual rise of life on Earth. This show is about that first 10 billion years, from the earliest point after the Big Bang, to the first single-celled organism swimming in Earth's ancient oceans.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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October 29, 2014
Life in the Universe - The Search
Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has wondered whether life existed among the stars. With the dawn of modern astronomy, tools have become available that can start to answer this question. From the classic SETI radio survey, to searching for Dyson spheres with space telescopes, we have been looking for evidence of alien intelligence for decades. Messages have also been sent out to likeliest locations for life!
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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