Meteor witnessed across Britain
Sightings of the meteor have been reported in Scotland and as far south as Devon
Police forces say they have received a number of calls reporting what is believed to have been a meteor.
Reports of a "bright light" and an "orange glow" came in across the north of England and Scotlandat about 21:40 GMT amid fears a plane had crashed.
The Met Office tweeted: "Hi All, for anyone seeing something in the night sky, we believe it was a meteorite."
Durham Police said air traffic control had confirmed there had not been any incidents of aircraft in difficulties.
A force spokeswoman said: "The sightings are believed to be either an asteroid burning out or similar which has been restricted to the upper atmosphere only."
Meteors are particles from space that burn up as they plummet through Earth's atmosphere, sometimes emitting light, creating a "fireball" effect.
Meteorites are larger, more durable objects that survive heating in the atmosphere and land on Earth. It is not known if that happened on Saturday.
'Best thing ever'
Dr David Whitehouse, a science writer, said: "Occasionally you get a very big piece of debris coming into the Earth's atmosphere and this causes a fireball.
"When you see this fireball breaking up, you're seeing the wreckage of a planet that couldn't form properly when the solar system was young and a bit of rock that has been orbiting the Sun for perhaps thousands of millions of years."
I looked up and saw these two huge tails of light coming off it and I thought it was a plane on fire going down into Edinburgh”
End Quote Witness
Adrian West, of Meteorwatch, said he had seen reports of sightings from Scotland to Devon.
He said he saw the meteor in Berkshire and believed it could have gone down in the English Channel or the Bay of Biscay.
Adam Hepworth, from Helensburgh, in Argyll, told the BBC: "I was leaving work and getting into my car and I noticed a really bright light moving slowly across the sky.
"At first I thought it was a sky lantern but then I realised it couldn't have been due to the speed that it was moving. I then thought perhaps it is a plane that had caught fire.
"I knew it was really odd and sat there for a few minutes just staring at it."
Grampian Police said many people had reported seeing a "flare or a bright object with a tail", whileDumfries and Galloway Constabulary said it had received reports of a "large ball of fire in the sky".
Strathclyde Police said it had been "inundated" with calls, while Lothian and Borders Police also reported taking calls.
Hundreds of people tweeted about what they had seen and the Kielder Observatory, in Northumberland, said a "huge fireball" had been seen travelling from north to south over the county.
The Observatory posted on Twitter: "Of 30 years observing the sky #fireball best thing I have ever seen period."
Laura Yusuf, of Mitcham, in Surrey, said she saw the meteor while travelling on the M6.
"It was an amazing sight. Bright orange flames trailing behind it as it slowly burnt itself out," she told the BBC.
Another witness, who called BBC Radio 5 live's Stephen Nolan programme, said: "I looked up and saw these two huge tails of light coming off it and I thought it was a plane on fire going down intoEdinburgh.
"It was massive, there was the red at the back of it, then these two huge white tails and then these blue bits at the very end."