Venus-Jupiter conjunction sparks 911 calls in California
Law enforcement agencies in California's Central Valley used social media to discourage people from calling 911 about a recent planetary display that alarmed some residents. In a Facebook post, the Stanislaus County sheriff stated that there was no need to report the event, which was the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in the night sky.
People in Sonoma and Stanislaus counties made emergency calls to report "non-moving" lights in the sky, which were actually just two planets shining brightly as they came together in a planetary rendezvous visible on the western horizon.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office reassured the public on Facebook by stating that there was no need to be worried, as NASA had already announced that Jupiter and Venus would be visible together in the western sky on March 1st.
According to a lieutenant who spoke with The Modesto Bee, the Facebook post from the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office likely helped decrease the number of calls received regarding the bright planets.
As per NASA, planets are among the brightest celestial bodies visible at night, and currently, Jupiter and Venus are located in close proximity to each other in the sky, known as a conjunction. On at least one evening, the two planets were observed near the Moon during early sunset.
Despite being a breathtaking spectacle for astronomy enthusiasts and lasting for a few more days, the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office emphasizes that it is not an emergency and urges the community not to report it. The agency states that there is no need to do so.