Achieve a Common Goal

Achieve a Common Goal

One of the great attributes of Scouting is that it teaches young men to work together to achieve a common goal. A Team can always do more by working together than they can do by working individually. Teamwork can bring out the best in all who are involved. An amazing example of this can be found in the story of the Apollo 13 mission to the moon.

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Blood Moon

Perfect event for the Astronomy Merit Badge along with the Astronomy Belt Loop.
In the early hours of April 15th we experience the first of 4 blood moons that are lined up starting today, April 15th, 2014 and ending September 29th, 2015 (lunar tetrad). 
What is a Blood Moon?... It is a total lunar eclipse where the rays from the sun are reflecting off of the earth's atmosphere.  Causing a red hue to be cast over the moon.  

Missed the April 14th-15th Blood Moon?  The next one will be this fall, October 8th, 2014.

One thing that is very interesting about these four Blood Moons is the dates of their occurrence.  The first one that just occurred today shares the same date as the start of passover.  The remaining 3 Blood Moons also share some important Jewish dates / holidays. 10/8/2014 (Sukkot), 4/4/2015 (Passover), 9/29/15 (Sukkot).  Coincidence... or unfolding of prophecy...?  I will let you come to your own conclusions.  Needless to say... I know what I will be doing on the night of October 8th, 2014. Get your telescopes and binoculars ready!

Next Blood Moon after 9/29/2015 will be around 2032-2033

Asteroid 2014 DX110 Buzzed The Earth

The newly discovered asteroid known as 2014 DX110 passed close to earth Wednesday afternoon, buzzing by at 33,000 mph. The video above is the flight path of the astroid and all planets within its path.

Scientists estimate the asteroid is between 45 and 130 feet across. The distance between the Earth and moon is about 239,000 miles where 2014 DX110 passed 217,000 miles from us.  That's right, It flew between us and the moon creating a 1/10,000,000 chance that 2014 DX110 would colide with Earth.

According to, this passing was just an appetizer for a larger astroid named 2014 CU13 scheduled to buzz the planet this Sunday night, March 9th, 2014.

While gazing up at the sky for a glimps of 2014 CU13 this weekend; Here are a few other Astronomy requirments you could pass off.

Cub Scout Academic Pin - Astronomy

Earn the Astronomy belt loop and complete five of the following requirements:

  1. Draw a diagram of a telescope and explain how it works.
  2. Explain how to use a star map.
  3. Draw and label five constellations. See if you can locate any of them in the sky using a star map.
  4. Find the North Star. Explain its importance.
  5. With your parent’s or adult partner’s permission, interview an astronomer. This person may be a professional or an amateur astronomer from a local astronomy club. Explain what you learned to your den or family.
  6. Learn about careers that relate to astronomy. Make a list of those careers. Tell your den or an adult family member what school subjects will help you get a position in those careers.
  7. Visit a planetarium or a local astronomy club. Give a report on what you learned to your den.
  8. Make a poster illustrating the different kinds of stars. Include a diagram showing the life cycle of a star.
  9. Learn about some of the early space missions. Tell your den or family about one of them.
  10. Find a news story about a recent happening related to space. Tell your den or family about this event.
  11. Write a report on two famous astronomers.
  12. Locate three major observatories on a map. Explain why these locations are good for astronomy.

Print the Worksheet Here

Cub Scout Astronomy Belt Loop


Complete these three requirements:

  1. Demonstrate how to focus a simple telescope or binoculars. (A local astronomy club may be a resource for this activity.)
  2. Draw a diagram of our solar system—identify the planets and other objects.
  3. Explain the following terms: planet, star, solar system, galaxy, the Milky Way, black hole, red giant, white dwarf, comet, meteor, moon, asteroid, star map and universe.
Print the Worksheet Here

Astronomy Merit Badge

  1. Do the following:

    a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in astronomy activities, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

    b. Explain first aid for injuries or illnesses such as heat and cold reactions, dehydration, bites and stings, and damage to your eyes that could occur during observation.

    c. Describe the proper clothing and other precautions for safely making observations at night and in cold weather. Then explain how to safely observe the Sun, objects near the Sun, and the Moon.

  2. Explain what light pollution is and how it and air pollution affect astronomy.

  3. With the aid of diagrams (or real telescopes if available), do each of the following:

    a. Explain why binoculars and telescopes are important astronomical tools. Demonstrate or explain how these tools are used.

    b. Describe the similarities and differences of several types of astronomical telescopes, including at least one that observes light beyond the visible part of the spectrum (i.e., radio, X-ray, ultraviolet, or infrared).

    c. Explain the purposes of at least three instruments used with astronomical telescopes.

    d. Describe the proper care and storage of telescopes and binoculars both at home and in the field.

  4. Do the following:

    a. Identify in the sky at least 10 constellations, at least four of which are in the zodiac.

    b. Identify at least eight conspicuous stars, five of which are of magnitude 1 or brighter.

    c. Make two sketches of the Big Dipper. In one sketch, show the Big Dipper’s orientation in the early evening sky. In another sketch, show its position several hours later. In both sketches, show the North Star and the horizon. Record the date and time each sketch was made.

    d. Explain what we see when we look at the Milky Way.

  5. Do the following:

    a. List the names of the five most visible planets. Explain which ones can appear in phases similar to lunar phases and which ones cannot, and explain why.

    b. Using the Internet (with your parent’s permission) and other resources, find out when each of the five most visible planets that you identified in requirement 5a will be observable in the evening sky during the next 12 months, then compile this information in the form of a chart or table.

    c. Describe the motion of the planets across the sky.

    d. Observe a planet and describe what you saw.

  6. Do the following:

    a. Sketch the face of the Moon and indicate at least five seas and five craters. Label these landmarks.

    b. Sketch the phase and the daily position of the Moon, at the same hour and place, for four days in a row. Include landmarks on the horizon such as hills, trees, and buildings. Explain the changes you observe.

    c. List the factors that keep the Moon in orbit around Earth.

    d. With the aid of diagrams, explain the relative positions of the Sun, Earth, and the Moon at the times of lunar and solar eclipses, and at the times of new, first-quarter, full, and last-quarter phases of the Moon.

  7. Do the following:

    a. Describe the composition of the Sun, its relationship to other stars, and some effects of its radiation on Earth’s weather and communications.

    b. Define sunspots and describe some of the effects they may have on solar radiation.

    c. Identify at least one red star, one blue star, and one yellow star (other than the Sun). Explain the meaning of these colors.

  8. With your counselor’s approval and guidance, do ONE of the following:a. Visit a planetarium or astronomical observatory. Submit a written report, a scrapbook, or a video presentation afterward to your counselor that includes the following information:

    1. Activities occurring there

    2. Exhibits and displays you saw

    3. Telescopes and other instruments being used

    4. Celestial objects you observed

    b. Plan and participate in a three-hour observation session that includes using binoculars or a telescope. List the celestial objects you want to observe, and find each on a star chart or in a guidebook. Prepare an observing log or notebook. Show your plan, charts, and log or notebook to your counselor before making your observations. Review your log or notebook with your counselor afterward.

    c. 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.

    d. Help an astronomy club in your community hold a star party that is open to the public.

    e. Personally take a series of photographs or digital images of the movement of the Moon, a planet, an asteroid, meteor, or a comet. In your visual display, label each image and include the date and time it was taken. Show all positions on a star chart or map. Show your display at school or at a troop meeting. Explain the changes you observed.

  9. Find out about three career opportunities in astronomy. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.