Meteor Spotted Over London As Huge Fireball Lights Up Night Sky

A huge meteor was spotted streaking over London last night creating an incredible display of light.

The giant fireball appeared at around 3:16 in the morning briefly lighting up the night sky with an enormous blue/green flash.

The meteor was then quickly picked up by the UK Meteor Network which reported that they too had seen the huge fireball as far north as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

According to UKMON, the meteor was brighter than most with just one in 12,000 meteors achieving a fireball of the size that was witnessed last night.

Despite the lateness of the hour the public have already taken to Twitter to share their views of the fireball which lit up the UK on Thursday morning.

What is a meteor?

Contrary to popular belief a meteor doesn't actually describe the object, it describes the process upon which a meteoroid burns up in the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in the huge flashes we see or 'shooting stars'.

If a meteoroid then survives the entry through the Earth's atmosphere and crashes it becomes a meteorite.

This is a fragment of Meteorite that on February 6 flew over Denmark.
This is a fragment of Meteorite that on February 6 flew over Denmark.
EMIL HOUGAARD via Getty Images

Most meteoroids are essentially made up of dust particles or in extreme cases small chunks of rock. They're most often debris that has broken away from a passing comet.

What did we see last night?

What you saw was the meteoroid burning up in the Earth's atmosphere. Usually comprising of very metal-rich materials a 'shooting star' can often appear in the form of bright coloured flashes.

Those colours usually denote the type of metal that the meteoroid was made from, in the case of last night's it appears as though it was made of large quantities of magnesium.