W.J. McCallion Planetarium


Department of Physics & Astronomy > W.J. McCallion Planetarium
Accessed at
   Location & Directions
   Public Show Schedule
  Booking Information
  Show Content

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
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
Reserve Tickets
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
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
Reserve Tickets
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
Reserve Tickets
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
Reserve Tickets
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
Reserve Tickets