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Astronomer Activity Badge

How to earn your badge

  1. Show what you know about the night sky and why the pattern of stars
    changes, night by night, throughout the year.
  2. Learn the meaning of the terms celestial, equator, poles, circumpolar and zodiac.
  3. Build a model of the Solar System using everyday materials found in the home, such as different size fruit or sports balls. Use an outside area to scale the Solar System.
  4. Explain how the moon affects the tides.
  5. Build a telescope from two cardboard tubes or two A4 pieces of black card and lenses.
  6. Observe three constellations on a clear night and record what you saw.
  7. Read a star map using a compass and red light.Compare the differences between using a star map and a normal map.
  8. Learn how to identify a satellite. How do you tell it apart from an aeroplane, star, planet or a meteor? Then complete these activities:
    • identify a satellite to observe
    • choose a clear night and use a clock and a compass to help you observe the satellite
    • plan an evening with your group and teach others how to observe the satellite.

Top tips

The Heavens Above website is great for identifying satellites. Visit heavens-above.com

For number 5, you will need these materials to make your telescope: corrugated cardboard, sticky tap, scissors, a pair of compasses or a pencil and ruler, two glass or plastic lenses of different sizes (like two magnifying glasses). Both lenses must be smaller in diameter than the cardboard tubes you make.


Each young person who participates in the Programme, including badges and awards, should face a similar degree of challenge, and requirements can be adapted according to each young person’s abilities.  For more information and practical tips see our guidance on flexibility


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