Frog photobombs NASA space launch
A frog has been caught in mid-flight by a camera taking pictures of the launch of NASA's LADEE spacecraft.
A still camera on a sound trigger captured the flying amphibian silhouetted against the smoke and flames of the rocket taking off from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
"The photo team confirms the frog is real and was captured in a single frame by one of the remote cameras used to photograph the launch," Nasa said on its Instagram page.
The unlucky creature was probably a resident of the local wildlife refuge, which consists mainly of salt marsh and woodlands, it added.
It is likely that it strayed into a "high-volume water deluge pool" thinking it was a giant pond. The pool prevents fires and cuts noise as a rocket takes off.
Nasa said the fate of the frog after its giant leap was "uncertain"
The rocket launch pad is within the 3,000 acres of Wallops Island, much of which is the wildlife refuge.
"Nasa's launch facilities, roads and facilities take up a small percentage of the area," the space agency said.
"The rest of the area remains undeveloped and provides excellent habitat for wildlife.
"During launches, short-term disturbance occurs in the immediate vicinity of the launch pads, but the disturbance is short-lived, allowing space launches and a wildlife habitat to coexist."
The unmanned LADEE mission, or Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, will measure the thin lunar atmosphere from orbit.