American astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh (1906-1997) is best known for discovering the planet Pluto. He also discovered many asteroids (nearly 800) and the first object in what would later become known as the Kuiper Belt. He had a great interest in alien life and called for serious scientific research into UFOs.
Tombaugh would often share his own, tongue in cheek, version of the Ten Commandments during talks. His version, is called Ten Special Commandments for a Would-Be Planet Hunter, and reads as follows:
"Behold the heavens and the great vastness thereof, for a planet could be anywhere therein.
Thou shalt dedicate thy whole being to the search project with infinite patience and perseverance.
Though shalt set no other work before thee for the search shall keep thee busy enough.
Though shalt take the plates at opposition time lest thou be deceived by asteroids near their stationary positions.
Though shalt duplicate the plates with a pair at the same hour angle lest refraction distortions overtake thee.
Thou shalt give adequate overlap of adjacent plate regions lest the planet play hide and seek with thee.
Thou must not become ill in the dark of the moon lest thou fall behind the opposition point.
Thou shalt have no dates except at full moon when long exposure plates cannot be taken at the telescope.
Many false planets shall appear before thee, hundreds of them, and thou shalt check every one with a third plate.
Thou shalt not engage in any dissipation, that thy years may be many for thou shalt need them to finish the job!"
This is a souvenir copy of Ten Special Commandments for a Would-Be Planet Hunter according to Clyde Tombaugh measuring 8½" x 11".
Tombaugh would sell these souvenir copies at talks he gave about his discovery of Pluto so that he could raise money for scholarships for young people to study planetary science.
This copy has been inscribed by Tombaugh: "To Rev. William Ward, with best wishes, Clyde W. Tombaugh, 7 May 1984".
The sheet features some archive folds but is otherwise in excellent condition.
The autograph and inscription from Clyde Tombaugh feature clearly across the top of the page.