Scots Cop "Chased" by Jupiter, thinking it's a Drone

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
2021-07-20_11-27-48.jpg

Article:
A rookie Scots police officer feared she was being pursued for miles by a drone – but the bright light in the sky was actually a planet.

It was only after a drawn-out “pursuit” that she sought help from senior officers, who told her it was Jupiter – some 365 million miles away.

The dozy PC had left a Glasgow police station at about midnight on Tuesday and noticed the object in the sky “following her.”

She tried to lose the “drone” as she drove towards the shopping complex at the Fort, just off the M8.


The story is both amusing and illustrative. Many skywatchers, myself included, have been briefly fooled by an unusually bright planet low in the sky. I once thought Mars was a plane or a drone simply because it was so unexpectedly bright. Probably in October 2020.

This case sounds like a tall story, but it checks out. On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at around midnight in Glasgow, Jupiter was low in the sky at about 120°, and the M8 before Glasgow Fort winds just left and right of 120° being in the rear-view mirror.
2021-07-20_11-35-34.jpg

So it's an understandable mistake. It might seem very much like a drone following you.

If Jupiter had set by the time she'd got back to the station, then she may well have continued to think it was a drone forever.
 
It's not so much the inability to identify as the "drawn out pursuit" that has me concerned...I'm pretty sure police pursuits are not supposed to end at the police station, with the culprit in hot pursuit of the officers.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It's not so much the inability to identify as the "drawn out pursuit" that has me concerned...I'm pretty sure police pursuits are not supposed to end at the police station, with the culprit in hot pursuit of the officers.

she's a rookie. i'm thinking calling your supervisory staff is likely protocol. they told her to come back to the station.
 

LilWabbit

Active Member
It's not so much the inability to identify as the "drawn out pursuit" that has me concerned...I'm pretty sure police pursuits are not supposed to end at the police station, with the culprit in hot pursuit of the officers.

Europa quickly plonked herself in the passenger seat and told Jupiter who was sitting behind the wheel: "Follow that car."
 

Alexandria Nick

Active Member
I, a pretty reasonable person, recently stood in the yard for a few minutes trying to figure out why the augmented reality feature of the Flightradar24 app wasn't working before I realized the landing lights I was trying to ID were actually Venus.

It happens.
 

LorentzHall

Member
I've been watching the sky since I was a small child, in an area with almost no light pollution.

I know this will sound like bragging, but over time you can pretty much instantly recognize Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Sirius, and the other ultra-bright objects. Not saying I'm smarter or a better observer, it's probably just instinct learned over time.
 

Related Articles

Top