It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Chinese spy drone! Oh, and there’s another one! That’s what the Indian Army must’ve thought when they saw two specks of something “spying on them” in the sky. Instead, what India thought were Chinese spy drones turned out to be… Jupiter and Venus.
Even more embarrassing, the Indian army had spent six months watching and keeping track of the “spy drones”. The Telegraph Calcutta says that the Indian army had documented 329 sightings of the unidentified object from August 2012 to February 2013, with 155 of those times being in violation of the Line of Actual Control that separates India from China.
The Indian army eventually approached astronomers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore to figure out what exactly the mysterious flying objects were. The Telegraph Calcutta writes:
The astronomers were told that the first object, viewed from a location about 4,715 metres above sea level near Thakung, appeared in the horizon at about 6pm and remained visible until about 5am. The second object appeared at 4am and faded away at 11am.
After studying “the planet’s diurnal motion and the apparent motion of the object due to the rotation of the Earth”, the first object was Jupiter and the second object was Venus (an early morning object as its moving behind the Sun). [Telegraph Calcutta via BBC, Image Credit: NASA]