Friday, February 8, 2008

Astronomers Badge

Stumble Upon Toolbar
Image courtesy of NASA, the Comet is a bonus, click on image for more info
(Credit: Alessandro Dimai at the
Col Druscie Observatory)
The 433rd has been working on the astronomer badge. The (paraphrased) requirements include:
  1. Showing how to use the pointer stars (Merak and Dubhe) of the Big Dipper to find the Polaris (the North Star - the comet in the photo shows the way).
  2. Using a star chart and finding 5 constellations, see Planispheres.
  3. Learning and relating star lore (classical or aboriginal), see the Wolf Moon for one example.
  4. Knowing and describing 3 (astronomical) features of the sky, such as comets, asteroids, planetary rings, strange quasi-moons, or other news.
  5. Knowing about the phases of the moon and tides, see the Tides Game.

Earning an astronomer badge automatically counts for Black Star requirement A11 (finding the north star and 3 constellations).

Requirement 1 is paramount as it can be used to find direction!

Some easy constellations to find (in the northern hemisphere) include:
I would be interested in hearing from Cubs outside of Canada about astronomy requirements in their badges and awards. In particular, I would love to hear from Scouters in the southern hemisphere.

Update: Above I noted that Cubs can double dip on requirements for the Black Star. It turns out they can actually triple dip as the Winter Cubbing badge has a requirement to find the North Star and three night sjy objects!

Update: If you are a Cub leader outside if Canada, please also read The Great Astronomers Badge Swap.  And please click on the BadgeSwap label below to see other related badges and entries.

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