Our second and final meeting at the Boy Scout Merit Badge College is coming up this Saturday. We’ve had some great nights for stargazing (and a few not so good nights) so I hope you’ve been practicing.
This week you should check all of the work you’ve completed. Make sure your name is on every page, all requirements are numbered and try to put them in order. I’ll try to get through everyone’s materials and get them back to you as soon as I can.
When we meet, I’ll take everyone into the dome one more time and go over all of the stars and constellations. After that we’ll go back out to the table where you can finish up any requirements you need a little more information for. I’ll have my collection of Astronomy and space books, if there’s something you just haven’t been able to find. While people are getting things together,
I’ll be taking two Scouts at a time back into the dome for the star and constellation test. One Scout will get the pointer and identify 10 constellations (four from the Zodiac) and 8 stars. The other will stay in the entry tube to get dark adapted. After the first Scout has identified his stars and constellations ( or given up ), he’ll leave the dome and another Scout will come into the entry tube to get dark adapted while the Scout who was in the tube takes his test.
My wife will be there to help anyone who needs a little assistance. She’s a Girl Scout Astronomy Trainer so she can answer most of the questions you might come up with.
If you don’t finish all of the requirements now, you’ll be able to send them along to me as you complete them. This is a fairly difficult badge to earn and our time together is fairly short, but most of the requirements are things you can do on your own. Don’t give up. I’m always just an email away when you have a question.
If you don’t pass the constellation and star test, things get a little complicated. We won’t have a space to set up my dome when the college is not in session, so you’ll have to take the test under the real sky or wait until next year and finish the test at the 2018 college. If you want to take the test under the real sky, remember the stars change every season, so the constellations and stars you see in May won’t be the same ones we worked on in March.