A photographer trying to capture Venus in the night sky ended up with a rather unexpected celestial phenomenon in his images.
Uwe Reichert was looking to take photos of the planet’s conjunction with a three-day old moon on the evening of June 16 when Venus was photobombed by something bright falling from the sky.
Mr Reichert, from Heidelberg, Germany, observed a white light flashing above Venus and moving downward at high speed.
It changed into an intense greenish glare before disintegrating to a spray of smaller sparkles and dying out just over the horizon.
The object, which turned out to be a fireball, was identified to have been over Belgium, some 230 kilometres from where Mr Reichert took the photo.
It was also spotted at a Foo Fighters concert in the Netherlands, while the rock band was performing at the Pinkpop Festival in the town of Landgraaf.
The International Meteor Organization (IMO) said they received more than 90 reports of the blazing fireball in the night sky.
Fireballs are really just big meteors – the result of meteoroids falling into the Earth’s atmosphere and burning up before disintegrating into a shower of sparkles.
Although they are are common events (an object one metre long strikes Earth’s atmosphere about 40 times per year), few are rarely seen as they usually appear over underpopulated areas.