'Meteor' sight swamps switchboards
Police forces across the UK have received numerous calls after a meteor was spotted in the sky.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing a large fireball travelling from northern Scotland to southern England at around 9.40pm on Saturday.
The Met Office tweeted: "Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite."
The Kielder Observatory also reported the sighting of a "huge fireball" travelling from north to south over Northumberland at 9.41pm.
The Observatory posted on Twitter: "Of 30 years observing the sky #fireball best thing I have ever seen period."
Adrian West, of Meteorwatch, said he spotted the meteor in Berkshire and believed it could have gone down in the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay. Mr West told the BBC: "It had a very bright orange nucleus and a green tail. It was seen by hundreds, maybe thousands of people."
Meteors are particles from space that burn up in a streak of light as they enter the Earth's atmosphere, whereas meteorites are larger objects that survive the trip and reach the surface of the Earth.
Dr David Whitehouse, an author and astronomer, said: "Judging by its brightness, it may have been large enough to survive and hit the ground but until people work out its trajectory we won't have any idea where it might have come down."
Dr Whitehouse said the object was about the size of a fist and was probably the debris of a planet that never properly formed. It's a chunk of rock that's probably come from somewhere between Mars and Jupiter and has been in space for thousands of millions of years."
A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said the force had been "inundated" with calls about a bright object in the sky across the west of Scotland, while a Durham Police spokeswoman said a number of calls came in around 9.45pm from concerned members of the public who had seen a "bright light or a fire in the sky" and believed it may have been incidents involving an aircraft.