Police forces across the UK have received numerous calls after a large fireball, thought to be a meteor, was spotted in the sky.
Reports of a "bright light" and an "orange glow" were received by police across Scotland and the north of England 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."
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 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. He said: "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. There are tens of thousands of bits of rock and grains of sand orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Some of it comes out of that orbit and some of it hits the Earth."
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.
A Durham Police spokeswoman said a number of calls came in around 9.45pm from concerned members of public who had seen a "bright light or a fire in the sky" and believed it may have been incidents involving an aircraft.
"It has been confirmed with air traffic control that there are no incidents of aircraft in difficulty and nothing registered on radar," she said. "The sightings are believed to be either an asteroid burning out or similar which has been restricted to the upper atmosphere only."
Grampian Police said reports of people seeing a "flare or a bright object with a tail" were received from across the region. And Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary said numerous calls were made about a "large ball of fire in the sky" across Annandale and Eskdale. One user wrote on the force's Facebook page: "It was awesome to see! Really big and bright!"