By Katy Gill
This amazing time lapse footage appears to show the planet Venus falling from a star studded night sky.
The mesmerising sequence was captured by Jesse Thornton, 34, at the National Radio Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.
The observatory itself is nestled among the Allegheny Mountains in the heart of Appalachia and is one of the few places in the United States that is a designated ‘Radio Quiet Zone’ – meaning no radio transmissions are allowed.
In the foreground of the video is the world’s largest steerable radio telescope, something that has allowed scientists to gather insight into the origin of the universe, including information surrounding the Big Bang.
Jesse, a photographer, said: “Originally my intention was to create a digital photograph showing the passage of time with star trails in the background, something that I had to plan for quite a while.
“These long exposure sequences require long periods of clear skies, a rarity in the region I live, so shooting during the winter when it is cold is best because the humidity is low.
“In addition to finding a clear night, the shot also had to take place before moon rise, as moonlight is strong enough to blot out many of the stars and, on this particular night, I had about a 5 hour window.
“With so much time at stake I had to be certain that clear skies were forecast; being shut out by the weather is often a demoralizing reality in photography.
“Fortunately everything came together as planned and I was even lucky enough to capture Venus falling which was a complete coincidence.
“With Venus falling below the horizon so early in the night, we can take this as a signal that winter is exiting and spring is nearly upon us.”