The Indian army spent six months observing two ‘Chinese spy drones’ before someone pointed out that the objects in the sky they were tracking were in fact Venus and Jupiter.
The Telegraph reports:
The Indian Army mistook Jupiter and Venus as unidentified flying intruders making nocturnal sorties from China into the skies above eastern Ladakh for over six months until astronomers brought their fears to ground, it has been disclosed.
Requested by the army, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, deputed two astronomers to Ladakh earlier this year to resolve the mystery of the two objects that the army had been observing in the sensitive border zone since August 2012.
The ‘spy drones’ violated the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that forms the unofficial border between India and China 155 times, mainly because Jupiter and Venus are over 628 million and 223 million kilometres away from the Earth respectively and don’t much care for petty Terran squabbles.
Tensions between China and India are still high after People’s Liberation Army troops crossed over the LAC in April and set up a camp in the disputed territory, this action led an uneasy 20 day standoff until both countries agreed to retreat from the region.
[Image credit: NASA // Via: Gizmodo]