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 Space.com:
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.
HOW TO EARN A BADGE
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