Camera footage from Scotland shows that a meteor exploded over the country at night, lighting up the skies.
Police received many calls from people who had reportedly seen a “fireball” in the night sky, the BBC reports.
The meteor was estimated to be only 4 inches wide, according to Keith Horne, a professor of astronomy at St. Andrews University.
“What you’ve seen is a piece of rock from outer space that has crashed into the earth,” Horne told the BBC. “When it hits the atmosphere it starts to burn up… It releases all this energy into the atmosphere which will cause a bright flash and sometimes bits of this explode.”
Much bigger fireballs routinely burn up in the planet’s atmosphere, but most of them go unnoticed because they fly over uninhabited areas.
Earlier this month, a meteor approximately 16 to 23 feet wide burned up over the southern Atlantic ocean, releasing energy equivalent to the atomic explosion in Hiroshima, but it took days before anyone paid attention.
The rarity of such an incident confused many Scottish residents who saw the meteor, who weren’t sure what it was.
LRT: Dave saw the flash last night (we thought it was lightning) and loads of friends saw the sky light up. Very curious what the cause was.
— Emma Maree (@EMaree) March 1, 2016
I saw this and thought it was lightning. BUT IT WAS ALIENS!!!
BBC News – ‘Bright flash’ seen in skies over Scotland https://t.co/lvhQVEE9mH
— Dad Eurôtrash (@bm_sfg) March 1, 2016
@samwitts2 Yikes! I saw a big ball of light move in a wavy motion on the night sky once, and then it disappeared in a flash of light!
— Krisha880 (@krisha880) February 26, 2016
UFO seen over Scotland … cool 👽
— Scott (@KishereFilm) March 1, 2016
Some witnesses thought that they were hallucinating, and others that they were seeing UFOs.