Falling meteor

Hundreds of people have reported sightings of a huge fireball in the skies over Ireland.

Astronomy Ireland said that they are receiving hundreds of calls from people, many from Northern Ireland, who say they spotted an explosion in the air around 9 p.m. Irish time last Thursday.

The Irish may be suspicious of mysterious objects in the air since the British government declassified secret files last month revealing two UFO sightings in Ireland in the 90s (click here to read the UFO story), but Conor Farrell, executive secretary of Astronomy Ireland, tells BBC News that the explosion of light was most likely to have been a large meteorite.

Farrell explained that the fireball was caused by either rock or metal hitting the earth’s atmosphere.

"Hopefully we will have an idea of where it landed within the next few days,” he said.

"It would have landed somewhere in Ireland or possibly in the Irish Sea.”

The astronomer went on to say that though hundreds of small meteor strikes happen every day, it is not often that they are spotted by so many people.

"There are hundreds of small strikes every day with objects probably no bigger than a pea," he said.

"Sometimes we can see them as brief small trails.

“Larger ones producing fireballs are maybe hitting 20 to 30 times a day on the atmosphere, but a lot of these will happen during the daytime and not be visible and others at night will be when a lot of people are in bed and also unseen."

The latest meteor sighting has generated a huge buzz in Ireland, Farrell added, saying they’ve had an incredible response to the Irish fireball.