Editor’s Note: Clyde William Tombaugh was an American astronomer. He discovered Pluto in 1930, the first object to be discovered in what would later be identified as the Kuiper belt.
|I saw the object about eleven o’clock one night in August, 1949 from the backyard of my home in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I happened to be looking at zenith, admiring the beautiful||
By Clyde Tombaugh
transparent sky of stars, when suddenly I spied a geometrical group of faint bluish-green rectangles of light similar to the “Lubbock Lights.” My wife and her mother were sitting in the yard with me and they saw them also. The group moved south-southeasterly, the individual rectangles became fore-shortened, their space of information smaller, (at first about one degree across) and the intensity duller, fading from view at about 35 degrees above the horizon. Total time of visibility was about three seconds. I was too flabbergasted to count the number of rectangles of light, or to note some other features I wondered about later. There was no sound. I have done thousands of hours of night sky watching, but never saw a sight so strange as this. The rectangles of light were of low luminosity; had there been a full moon in the sky, I am sure they would not have been visible.