Photographer Prasenjeet Yadav has captured the moment a meteor burnt up over the sky in India in a stunning picture that was captured completely by accident.
Yadav was asleep when this bright green meteor exploded over Mettupalayam, a small town in the mountainous Western Ghats region of southern India. But the time-lapse rig he’d set up on a nearby hilltop captured this beautiful image.
Yadav won a National Geographic Young Explorers grant to document “sky islands,” the isolated mountain peaks that rise above the clouds along a 400-mile swath of the Western Ghats.
He wanted a nighttime shot of Mettupalayam to show the area’s urbanisation. In the wee hours of October 9, 2015, Yadav drove into the mountains, set up his Nikon D600, and programmed it to take 15-second exposures every 10 seconds until 4:30 am.
The next day, he reviewed the thousand or so images on his camera and spotted a brilliant flash of emerald light. At first, he thought it was a fluke, but much to his joy, several astronomers confirmed that it was a meteor. It’s a perfect shot. “I was there, and that’s what photography is all about—being there in the right place at the right time,” Yadav says. That, and a bit of luck.
Yadav is currently editing National Geographic Your Shot Assignment: Silhouette