Stargazers throughout the UK have reported seeing a meteor-like streak of light in the darkened skies.
The BBC was contacted by people in Scotland, the Midlands, Wales, and northern and south west England who saw the display at about 1740 GMT.
One witness driving home from work in Coventry said the light was a bit scary because it was so "incredibly bright".
Astronomers said the brightness of the meteor, a chunk of space rock burning up in the atmosphere, was unusual.
Dr David Whitehouse, astronomer and former BBC correspondent, said: "It's a bright meteor called a fireball, extraordinarily bright.
"This a chunk of space rock perhaps the size of your fist, perhaps a bit larger, that is burning up as it comes through our atmosphere at an altitude of 60 or 70 miles or so.