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
October 23, 2019
Stories of the Sky
View the constellations in a broader historical context, with a planetarium show that combines cultural interpretations about the stars in the sky. This show will cover Asian folklore associated with the Milky Way, called Tanabata; a variety of Greek mythologies describing constellations in the Western sky; and, an Indigenous perspective about the Celestial Bear, also known as the Big Dipper.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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October 30, 2019
Next Generation Telescopes for Cutting Edge Science
Have you come across news of an upcoming telescope that has astronomers teeming with excitement? Have you read an article on an astronomical discovery and wondered what astronomers could have done better with a newer instrument? Do you just wish someone would fill you in on what is being planned for the next batch of cutting edge telescopes to push our understanding of the universe to a new level? If the answer is yes then join us as we tour the upcoming next generation of telescopes starting with those just about to start running to ones that are still decades away from being built. We will touch upon the incredible engineering challenges that must be overcome to one-up the current fleet of observatories and the new science we expect to uncover. Telescopes covered will include the Event Horizon Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope, the Square Kilometer Array, and more. Bonus points will be awarded for asking about telescopes that aren't mentioned by the presenter.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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November 6, 2019
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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November 13, 2019
Dammit Jim, I'm an Astronomer
Come explore our galaxy aboard the Starship Enterprise. In this show, we will display and describe some of the celestial objects talked about in various Star Trek series and movies. Phasers will be set to fun as we observe the wondrous phenomena that our future starships will perhaps one day see up close.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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November 20, 2019
The Golden Dance of Death
Gold is the most valued metal: it's beautiful, useful as jewelry and quite rare. Tracing its source goes far beyond a mine: in the vastness of space, pairs of city-sized stars collide in a dance of death creating gold and other precious metals. Each of these cosmic fireworks can create as much as 100 Earths' worth of gold! Two years ago, scientists observed such a collision for the first time. It was so massive and violent that it not only created a release of energy and light, but also ripples in the fabric of space and time.  Visit McCallion Planetarium this year and find out how gold is created in the universe.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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November 27, 2019
The Celestial Bear: The Six Nations' Night Sky
"That is how I heard the story, so I thought that is how you would hear it as well..." Join us for a fascinating show that blends local culture, history and modern-day astronomy that shares the Six Nations' sky lore and language through traditional indigenous night-sky stories. With narration and visuals by a live presentation and pre-recorded excerpts (in English, Mohawk and Cayuga), learn about the story of the bear and the brothers and how it is retold every year with the rotating patterns in the night sky. See the same stars with a completely different understanding and appreciation! This show was collaboratively-produced by members of the Six Nations, McMaster's Indigenous Studies Program, and the McCallion Planetarium.
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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December 4, 2019
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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December 11, 2019
Oumuamua and Other Eccentric Objects
The size of the universe is so immense that we can't possibly be alone, or can we? Recently, the discovery of the interstellar object Oumuamua and its strange properties have people thinking that it has an extraterrestrial origin. In this show, we will compare Oumuamua with objects in our solar system including dwarf planets and comets. We will also venture away from our solar system to look at stars unlike our sun and at planetary nebulae created from aging stars. Perhaps exploring the puzzling qualities of these other objects will make Oumuamua seem not so strange after all!
Show Times: 7:00pm, 8:15pm
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