If you haven’t yet earned your Astronomy Merit Badge, you have another opportunity on Monday night. We love it when the crescent moon sets close to Venus, and on Monday night it will do just that, hanging about 10 degrees to the right of bright planet. As a bonus, there is a nice alignment of Venus, Saturn and Mars in the same area of the sky.

To get credit for this sighting, look to the low west sky just after sundown and spot the moon and Venus. Then look for Mars and Saturn toward the 1-pm position. While you’re at it, look for three major constellations, Sagittarius, Scorpius and Libra. I hope you have clear skies!


How to Earn Your Astronomy Merit Badges

Participate in a sanctioned stargazing event, and you’ll earn a participation badge, one for each one you participate in. Earn 5 participation badges for your Astronomy Merit Badge and a bonus 100 Karma points. If you earn an additional 5 stargazing participation badges, you will earn your Expert Astronomer Merit Badge and a bonus 250 points.

NOTE: Events are not specific to individual badges. For example, if you observe event A, miss events B and C, but then observe event D, you earn stargazer1 and stargazer 2 badges. The next event you observe — even if you miss the next ten — will earn you the stargazer 3 badge. Astronomy opportunities are announced throughout the year, and it is expected that you will not be able to participate in every one, due to weather, geo location or timing.


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: expertastronomer