Sat, Aug 24, 2013 - Page 10 News List

India’s army mistook planets for spy drones

A man fishes as a triple conjunction of the planets Venus (bottom), Jupiter (left) and Mercury (top) is seen in the sky over the Statue of Liberty in New York on May 26.

Photo: Reuters

India’s army reportedly spent six months watching “Chinese spy drones” violating its air space, only to find out they were actually Jupiter and Venus.

Tensions have been high in the disputed Himalayan border area between the two nations in recent years, with India frequently accusing its neighbor of making incursions onto its territory.

Things came to a head during a stand-off in April when Chinese troops were accused of erecting a camp on the Indian side of the de facto boundary known as the Line of Actual Control.

By that stage, Indian troops had already documented 329 sightings of unidentified objects over a lake in the border region, between last August and February, according to the Calcutta-based Telegraph.

The army called the Indian Institute of Astrophysics to identify the objects. “Our task was to determine whether these unidentified objects were celestial or terrestrial,” astronomer Tushar Prabhu told the paper.

Only once the objects’ movements were noted in relation to the stars were they identified as planets.

The Telegraph suggests the sentry ought to be forgiven, with planets appearing brighter as a result of the increased atmospheric transparency at the high altitude and the increased use of surveillance drones.

(Liberty Times)










1. come to a head idiom

緊要關頭;時機成熟 (jin3 yao4 guan1 tou2; shi2 ji1 cheng2 shou2)

例: The national crisis has come to a head.


2. de facto adj.

事實上的;實際上的 (shi4 shi2 shang4 de5; shi2 ji4 shang4 de5)

例: He is the de facto leader of the company.


3. sentry n.

哨兵;崗哨 (shao4 bing1; gang3 shao4)

例: The sentries are all on high alert.


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