Astronomy Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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Astronomy Merit Badge C) Prerequisites - Scouts
Work to be done prior to program start:

Astronomy Merit Badge D) Study Hall

The purpose of this section is to facilitate an opportunity for scouts to research and learn about key concepts relevant to this subject. They need to be prepared to explain these to the counselor.

While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

Astronomy Merit Badge F) Field Trip

Dark Skys Campout
For the best astronomical viewing experience check with local astronomers for the following:

Req #4: Big Stars & Constellations
Identify major stars and constellations. Identify the following:

    a. 10 Constellations
    b. 8 Bright Stars
    c. Two Sketches of the Big Dipper
    d. The Milky Way

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This is are really big help on Req #4:

Req #5: Tracking Planets
Note: Some astronomy camps set their clocks for one hour before dawn to catch the early morning stars and best viewing of meteor showers.

    a. Find the five most visible planets
    b. When will they show
    c. Describe planet motion across the sky
    d. Observe a planet

Req #8c: Campout Star Party
Plan and host a star party for your Scout troop or other group such as your class at school. Use binoculars or a telescope to show and explain celestial objects to the group.

Req #8a: Astronomical Observatory Tour
Since observatories are usually located in remote dark sky wilderness, they usually incorporate both a star party campout adjacent to an observatory day tour. One example of this is the prestigous Palomar Observatory in San Diego County which is not only located in next to a State Park Campground, but is also close by to BSA Camp Mataguay.

Astronomy Merit Badge G) Program Debriefing

After completion of the above activities you may need a work session to finish completion of the merit badge worksheet to document the results of your visits, activities and the people you interviewed about potential career opportunities in this field.

H) Extra Credit

The Astronomy merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911.

J) Astronomy Famous Quotes:

    Plato - Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.
    Edwin Powell Hubble - The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.

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