You’ll have an oppurrtunity to add another stargazer badge to your sash this weekend if you observe the Taurid meteor shower. (Details at bottom of post.)

Here’s the scoop from

While the Taurid meteor shower doesn’t have a lot of shooting stars to offer (only about 5 per hour at its peak), the few that will streak across the sky in the coming days will be bright, spectacular fireballs.

In North America it will peak overnight on Nov. 11-12.

The best results will happen in the early morning from any dark location. This weekend, catch it before the quarter moon rises.

The Taurids appear to originate in the constellation Taurus the bull. To find Taurus, look for the constellation Orion and then peer to the northeast to find the red star Aldebaran, the star in the bull’s eye.

Don’t look directly at Taurus to find meteors; the shooting stars will be visible all over the night sky. Make sure to move your gaze around the nearby constellations. Meteors closer to the radiant have shorter trails and are more difficult to spot. If you look only at Taurus, you might miss the shooting stars with the most spectacular trails.


To earn a badge for viewing the Taurids, watch the night sky until you see one or experience the onset of frostbite. Watching shooting stars is always a crapshoot, so we don’t expect that you will see a bunch of them. But you will need to spend more than 15 minutes gazing at the night sky to get your eyes acclimated to the dark.

Then, return to this post and file a 200-word report on the Taurid meteor shower, including its origin, why it shoots fireballs, and any other interesting factoids. You may include a description of any constellations you observed while Taurid-watching.

Cat Scouts’ Astronomy Program is the most extensive of any we offer. You earn Stargazer Badges for individual events, and after every ten stargazer badges, you earn your Astronomy Merit Badge. There are several levels of Astronomy Merit Badges. If you click the “Achievements” link on your purrsonal profile, you can see which ones you’ve earned. Each event and merit badge has its own redemption code:


1st event: stargazer1

2nd event: stargazer2

3rd event: stargazer3

4th event: stargazer4

5th event: stargazer5

REDEMPTION CODE for full-fledged merit badge after observing 5 events: starstruck

6th event: stargazer6

7th event: stargazer7

8th event: stargazer8

9th event: stargazer9

10th event: stargazer10

Expert Astronomer Merit Badge (10 events) REDEMPTION CODE: expertastronomer

11th event: stargazer11

12th event: stargazer12

13th event: stargazer13

14th event: stargazer14

15th event: stargazer15

Galileo Class Expert Astronomer Merit Badge (after 15 events) REDEMPTION CODE: galileo