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Indian military pondered attack on Venus and Jupiter

Army retreats after boffins prove bright lights are planets, not Chinese aircraft

Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io

Some eagle-eyed astronomers have saved the planet from possible nuclear Armageddon after the Indian army mistook Jupiter and Venus for flying intruders from China.

Two star-gazers from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in Bangalore were sent over 1,400 miles to Ladakh near the disputed border with China at the behest of the army, which had been observing the UFOs since August 2012, Calcutta’s Telegraph has reported.

Between that time and February 2013 the Indian military had observed 329 sightings of unidentified objects at Thakung near the border with Tibet.

The objects were thought to have crossed the Line of Actual Control shared between the two nuclear-armed nations 155 times. What may have confused onlookers was that due to the high altitude the planets apparently appeared much brighter than usual.

One is said to have appeared on the horizon between 6pm and 5am while the other was visible from 4am-11am.

“Our task was to determine whether these unidentified objects were celestial or terrestrial,” senior astronomer Tushar Prabhu, told the paper.

After using a theodolite to measure the horizontal and vertical location of the objects, the astronomers decided they definitely belonged to the former category.

The army’s concerns about flying insurgents from China are not without merit, given the Middle Kingdom’s increasing use of unmanned drones in the area.

The India-China Joint Mechanism on border issues met for talks in Delhi on Tuesday after months of ratcheting tensions following a stand-off back in April when Chinese troops camped deep inside Indian territory.

The disputed Himalayan border between the two countries even sparked a war in 1962. ®

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