Photos of the cosmos: a fireball on the background of Venus

Photos of the cosmos: a fireball on the background of Venus

Sometimes nature is the best artist. On June 16, 2018, Uwe Reychert took a camera and a tripod to portray the fusion of the three-day old Moon and the bright Venus. Trees and bushes in his backyard (Heidelberg, Germany) closed the view, so he reached the outskirts of the city, where he could capture two celestial objects.

He set the focal length of his telescopic lens to 180 mm so that Venus created the picturesque rays, and switched sensitivity to ISO 4000 (shorten the exposure time and avoid blurring when the Earth rotates). As a result, something bright and falling from the sky was imprinted on the picture.

First of all, white light flashed over Venus, moving downward at great acceleration and changing color to an intense greenish sheen. Then a single object broke up into a multitude of “splashes”, retaining the original trajectory, until it burned over the horizon. Reychert watches the sky for a long time and has seen many phenomena, but this one surprised him: sparks resembled an exploding firework, rather than a dying “shooting star”. But the speed of the object and the low angle indicated that it was not pyrotechnics.

Checking the camera display, he noticed a bright strip. It seemed that it broke through the clouds, as if it were an object that fell to the Earth from a great height. It is clear that it fell, but given the perspective, the trajectory should be above the clouds. A few hours later it turned out that the fiery step ground route was identified in Belgium, about 230 km from the location of the photographer. Hundreds of people have reported a fireball.

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