He was there to show the public how to spot interesting sights in the night sky -- which made it all the more embarrassing for astronomer Mark Thompson when he missed seeing a meteor on live TV.

During the recent BBC series "Stargazing LIVE" Thompson had been advising people on how to identify constellations and see other things worth looking out for.

But on one of the live shows -- speaking from a field near the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics -- he said that cloud cover was so bad there was nothing interesting to see ... and that's when it happened. A meteor whizzed across behind him in what appeared to be the only bit of clear sky that night.

Unaware of what had just happened, Thompson then continued moaning about the cloud cover and lack of visibility, adding, "There's not too much to be seen at the moment."

However, viewers were quick to point out the gaffe and bombarded the BBC with phone calls and messages on their website.

Speaking after the blunder was pointed out to him, Thompson said, "I must admit I was oblivious to it. I think I'm probably the only person in the entire country who didn't see it." Check below for the video.