Fireballs light up sky across Midlands

This picture was taken in Derbyshire last night around 11.00pm Credit: Adam Badrick from Belper in Derbyshire

Police were inundated with reports of "fireballs in the sky" last night as a large meteor lit up the sky across the Midlands.

Many people mistook the meteor for aircraft or something more sinister and contacted the police reporting fireballs or 'suspicious lights in the sky'.

One eye witness in Great Barr said she saw a large ball of light trail across the sky for around 6 seconds as she looked out of the window at 11.00pm last night (Friday 21 September):

Many people took to Twitter to report their sightings:

Gary Fildes the lead astronomer at the public research facility the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland said this was the largest, "best one by far" meteor he has ever seen:

Gary Fildes said some people grew scared at one point as it looked as though the meteor was going to hit them.

There is speculation today that the 'fireball in the sky' was actually 'space junk' burning up in the atmosphere but the astronomer thinks there is too much evidence against this theory.

Mr Fildes says there was a huge surge in meteor activity before the large meteor was spotted and then afterwards, suggesting to him it was in fact a meteor.

He also says it was coloured slightly green suggesting the presence of metals like copper or iron, plus it was travelling East to West which Gary says would be unlikely for 'space junk' to do.

For more on this story see ITV National News site.