'Calling 911 on stars': California sheriff asks residents to stop reporting planets in sky

Jupiter and Venus on March 1, 2023. Photo credit: NASA

Two shiny dots in the sky Wednesday night apparently startled some residents in California's Central Valley.

The Stanislaus County sheriff took to Facebook Thursday to tell people they shouldn't call 911 as NASA confirmed the stars were in fact Jupiter and Venus.

"There is no reason to report this," the sheriff said, adding they received multiple calls to dispatch.

The two planets were incredibly close, as Venus slowly shifted towards Jupiter, passing each other just half a degree apart, NASA explained on its website.

The comments to the sheriff's post brought a little humor to the situation.

"Calling 911 on stars is a new one," responded one resident.

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"I love the thought process: ‘Oh my god, what is that in the sky? Maybe the sheriff can help!’" said another. 

"These people drive on the same roads we do and they vote," joked another.

According to the National Weather Service, the next time Venus and Jupiter will be this close together will be February 7, 2032.