A mysterious bright light seen by thousands of people in the night sky over northern Britain caused a ruckus this weekend.

Some observers called police, others quickly hit the Internet to broadcast tweets about what they saw.

“UFO invasion?! Ball of fire flew past my window!” one woman posted on Twitter.

David Konstantinou of Glasgow tweeted he had seen “a huge meteorite heading south.”

“Huge white tail. Flashed green and red. Amazing sight. Made the hairs on my neck stand up,” he added.

One Greater Manchester police officer joined in the fun, tweeting: “Sounds like we are being invaded by martians. Several sightings of a bright orange light over Salford!”

The Met Office tweeted: “Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite.”

The most likely explanation for the phenomenon was that a meteor, probably about the size of a person’s fist, had hit the Earth’s atmosphere 60-70 miles in altitude.

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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.

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.

A force spokesman wrote on Facebook: “A number of reports have been received from the public reporting observing bright lights or what is described as a large ball of fire in the sky.

“Inquiry has confirmed that this is actually a low level meteor shower.”

Meanwhile, Lothian and Borders Police said it had received “quite a lot” of calls from members of the public.

Strathclyde Police and Central Scotland Police checked with air traffic control who confirmed there were no concerns and all aircraft was accounted for.

Coastguard also received calls from members of the public asking if a flare had been used. One call was made to the coastguard in Stornoway, with one person reporting seeing a flare in the sky.

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