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Mail Tribune 100, Aug. 12, 1921

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

Aug. 12, 1921


For several weeks residents on the west side of the valley have been much interested in a strange astral body, which appears over Mt. Pitt each morning about sunrise. For three or four weeks this phenomena has been observed by people whose reputation for sanity and sobriety are such that the actual appearance of something peculiar celestially can’t be questioned.

About three weeks ago the body first appeared, and was then much larger than at present, of a silvery tone and slightly blurred. The last few days the body has decreased in size, and is accompanied by a little red spot. Several ranchers have observed the phenomena through field glasses, but no clearer knowledge of its nature has been attained.

C. C. Cate, chief of the local weather bureau has had his attention called to the matter, but can give no explanation. There is a look-out station on the peak and Cate thinks the rays of the rising sun may be reflected by some object so as to create a certain optical illusion.

Letters have been written to the Lick observatory for an explanation, but as yet no replies have been received. The recent news dispatch, from Lick observatory via Cambridge, Mass., that a new comet had been discovered with the naked eye has led to a belief that the early risers along the Old Stage road should have the credit for the discovery. The following dispatch today confirms the California report, but the comet there was seen at sunset, while Medford’s constellation is seen at sunrise. So many people are interested in the matter that a satisfactory explanation is expected in the near future.


Heidelberg, Aug. 2 — Announcement is made at the Koenigstuhl observatory that the earth passed through the tail of a comet on the night of August 8.


At sunset on August 7, a bright object was observed near the sun by W. W. Campbell, director of Lick observatory, which is located near San Jose. It was described as brighter than Venus and was located three degrees east and one degree south of the sun. Reports from the observatory indicated that experts there believed it might be the nucleus of a bright comet.


Washington, Aug. 12 — Since the night of August 7, a special detachment of observers, directed by Commander F. B. Littell of the naval observatory here, has been searching the sunset and sunrise skies without success for traces of the new celestial celebrity noted at Lick observatory, California.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com