Coming Eclipse of Sun Brings Flood of Queries

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Coming Eclipse of Sun Brings Flood of Queries


Fun little piece describing an upcoming eclipse and planetary alignment. Mentions astronomers being present on Palmyra to view the event, where the eclipse would be total and all five planets in the alignment visible to the naked eye.



Oakland Tribune




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A rare grouping of five planets in our universe and a scheduled Feb. 4-5 solar eclipse have telephones at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco ringing off the hook these days.

“Were the cold weather and snow we had last week caused by all those planets getting together in the sky?” ask some of the callers.

“Could it mean the end of the world is at hand?” ask others.

Astrologers - persons who believe man’s destiny is governed by the position of stars and planets - are eyeing the phenomenon ominously.

Academy Curator George Bunton said the exact celestial event probably has not occurred within the last 5,000 years, adding, “There is no basis for superstitious association of human events with the planets going about their predictable habit of following paths in the sky.”

The grouped planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. A similar grouping occurred in 1186 A.D., accompanied by only a partial eclipse of the sun.

The Feb. 4-5 eclipse (visible across the international dateline) will begin at 4:54PM Sunday in the Bay Area and will appear as only a partial eclipse.

Astronomers have taken up posts on Palmyra Island in the Pacific, where the eclipse will be total. All five of the grouped planets will be visible to the naked eye from the Island during the eclipse.

Original Format



“Coming Eclipse of Sun Brings Flood of Queries,” Palmyra Archive, accessed August 15, 2020,