Astronomy Night - indoor and outdoor activities

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4 activity's to cover in one night to achieve the badge. This will work on a dry and wet night, but try to use the moon if possible.


1. Map of solar system (printed of internet)
2.tape measure x2
3.small marble
5. strong torch
6. ball
7:named map of the moon (printed of internet)
8:large unmarked map of the moon (printed of internet)
10: big drawing pins or the ones with the plastic handles.
11: blue tack
12: tables


Games 1: covers requirement 1. Make a model or draw a simple diagram of the Solar System.

Making the Solar system on the path outside the hut using the Cubs as planets:

1. Talk to cubs about how all the planets orbit the sun. Explain how the sun is very large and its pull holds the planets in orbit.

2. Show all Cubs a map of solar system. Below is a chart that will make a good model to scale.

Planet Distance from Sun in miles remove the ,000,000 X3 to make into Cm Distance to from last planet Cm
Sun 0 0 0 0
Mercury 36,000,000 36 108 108
Venus 67,000,000 67 201 93
Earth 93,000,000 93 279 78
Mars 141,000,000 141 423 144
Jupiter 483,000,000 483 1449 1026

3. Assign the Sixer or Seconder as the "measurer" (give tape measure and completed chart)
4. Assign a planet to the rest of the cubs.
5. Get the sun to stand at the top of the path and Mercury and "Measurer" work out the correct distance from Sun down the path. Repeat for Venus, Earth, Mars. (If there are not enough Cubs the Leader can be the Sun or don’t use Mars).
6. Question “if they we re to measure the distance to Jupiter where would it be in the opposite field?” Get the Cubs to measure from Mars back to the Sun. it should show that from Mars to Jupiter is more that the Sun to Mars.
7. This should take up all your time. An extension activity is “does anyone know anything about the planets?” One of them is Earth so they should!!

Game 2: covers requirements 2. Explain the difference between a planet and a star. and 3. Learn how to observe the sun safely. Find out and explain how the earth moves around the sun.

Outside if possible explain the 3 differences between planets and stars with three experiments:

1. Stars are much bigger than planets:

• Take small marble as the earth
• Cubs to make a 16 meter ring around leader holding a marble
• Each cub should be 8 meters from the leader. Use the tape measure.
• The sun our closest star is 109 times bigger than earth. The marble is the size of earth the ring is the size of the Sun. (its a big ring)

2. Stars stay in one place, plants move. (leader to talk about gravity of the sun pulling on the Earth)

• Most of six are the sun and must stay in one place holding a rope
• One cub to be planet (Earth) orbiting the Sun. The planet Cub must try to run in a strait line forward, try to escape from the sun's gravity. No cub is to let go of rope.
• The Cub will circle the sun as the rope acts like gravity.
• Give each Cub a go.

3. Stars give off heat and light.

• Use torch as sun and ball as earth explain night and day. As parts of the ball is in darkness.

4. Discussion:
• Use binoculars to look at moon, where dose the light come from?
• Talk about the difference areas of the moon (The seas and the craters)
• Discuss why you should not look directly at the sun? (dose the torch hurt when you look at it? imagine if it was the size of the sun!)
• How could we look at the sun safely? (special eclipse glasses, make box cameras. Etc)
Never look directly at the sun!

Game 3 covers requirements 4. Observe the moon, using binoculars or a telescope if you can. Describe some of its features.

Moon Landing:
1. Set up to be across the hut, a table on one side of the room with a named map of the moon on it (mission control).

2. and an large unmarked map of the moon pined up on the opposite wall (the moon)

3. As a Six the group must prepare for a moon landing, as a leader you will designate a landing site, deferent for each Six:
• Red: Sea of Serenity
• Yellow: Sea of Tranquillity
• Green: Sea of Moisture
• Black: Sea of Clouds
• Blue: Sea of Showers/rain
• White: Ocean of Storms

4. They must find the site and pick the following roles for each cub:

Mission Control:
• Thrust control: cub can only say “forward”
• Steering cub only say “left “
• Steering cub only say “right”
• Landing thrust: cub only say” hand up or down”
• Landing steering : cub only say “hand left or right”

and the Astronaut

• (if you do not have a full six one person can do two roles)

5. As a team!!! They must guild the astronaut (blindfolded) through space and land a pin in the right spot on the moon (the large map on the opposite side of the room).
6. Have a short test flight with the six without the astronaut being blindfolded. (NOT ALL THE WAY NO CHEETING!!)
7. Get them to count down for take off: 5,4,3,2,1 TAKE OFF!
8. Mission control will need to use binoculars to see the moon on the opposite wall to get the correct landing site. (They can’t move too far from the table, they could not leave Earth for a better look!)
9. See which six gets the closest to their target.
10. If we have to use blue tacked pins instead of drawing pins a leader may need to make sure it sticks on the big moon map!

Game 4: covers requirements 5. Identify three constellations.
(make cut outs of the constellations stuck onto card make sure to remover the names, number the cards for easy recognition by a leader/helper. Make a leader /helper cheat sheet. all of the pictures can be found with a web search)
1. Lay out card pictures of the constellations on the floor.
2. Explain how the Greeks, Romans and Vikings used to use the stars to navigate by. To help recognize the starts the Greeks and Romans gave groups of starts names, like Leo the Lion or the God Orion.
We now call these the constellations. ask the cubs if they know any names for the constellations, however do not say the names of the constellations on the floor!
2. Explain the game:
• You will tell the six the names of 3 constellations.
• The Six must choose 3 unnamed constellations from the floor to put on the table
• You will only tell the six if they have got none 1, 2 or 3 correct, they can then chose another 3 cards and repeat.
• They will have 60 seconds to get all 3 correct on the table. each time they are unsuccessful pick up the correct cards and tell them the name of the constellation.
3. Run the game a few time until they are familiar with the constellations.

covering requirement 6. Find out about two space-related subjects. Present some information about them.
1. By talking to the leader on all the activities the cubs should be encouraged to contribute. This should help to covered point 6.


  • astronomer
  • astronomer - badge
  • astronomer - Games
  • astronomer - night

Badge Links

  • Astronomer - Identification
  • Astronomer - Investigation
  • Astronomer - Model or draw
  • Astronomer - Moon
  • Astronomer - Planet vs star
  • Astronomer - Sun