Sometimes photographers just happen to be in the right place at the right time to capture that magic moment.

If you are a Nasa astronaut you find yourself in that position a little more often that amateur stargazers so Ron Garan makes good use of his camera on duty to help us earthbound folk share in some of his special experiences.

He took this stunning photograph of a Perseid meteor bursting into the earth's atmosphere through a window of the International Space Station on Sunday during the annual Perseid meteor shower.

persied meteor in space
© NASA/Ron Garan
Snap happy: Nasa astronaut Ron Garan took this photo of a Perseid meteor through a window in the International Space Station.

The astronaut posted his snap to Twitter with the message: 'What a "Shooting Star" looks like #FromSpace Taken yesterday during Perseids Meteor Shower...'

Ron Garan astronaut nasa
Space man: Ron Garan is coming to the end of his six-month mission on the ISS
The key difference in this image, which isn't immediately obvious from looking at it, is that the Perseid meteor is moving away from Garan, rather than towards him, as would be the case if the image was captured on the ground.

Meteors are what remain of asteroids as the giant rocks hurtle through space, breaking up as they smash into planets or burn up entering orbit.

The Perseids are grains of dust shed from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle burning up in the atmosphere.

They are named Perseid because they point where they come from - the constellation Perseus.

The annual Perseid meteor shower, which arrives every August, has been observed by skywatchers for at least 2,000 years, according to Nasa.

This year's stunning light show began with sightings on Friday night, kickstarting one of the highlights of the celestial year for amateur astronomers.

Under ideal conditions up to 100 of the shooting stars an hour would have been visible when the shower peaked.

But Garan, who was launched into space as part of the Expedition 27 crew in April, might have to watch the next one from terra firma as he is nearing the end of his six-month stay on the ISS.
persied meteor shower 2011
© Europäische Presse Agentur
Worm's eye view: How a Perseid meteor looks from earth, taken in the night sky over the stone dolls in Kuklice, near the eastern city of Kratovo, Macedonia, on Saturday