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It is a common misconception that astronomers do not see UFOs. Old astronomical chronicles contain many reports of unknown objects seen in the heavens. In 1976, a survey was carried out on the 1356 members of the American Astronomical Society, five percent of the respondents claimed to have had experienced sightings that they could not explain.

The best known sightings in this category were made by Mexican astronomer Jose Bonilla in Zacatecas, Mexico in 1883 and by celebrated American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in 1949.