Residents witnessed a large meteor blazing across the sky on Sunday night.

The fireball was visible shortly before 10pm, with the incredible moment captured on doorbell and security cameras around the country, with sightings in Hampshire, Essex, Devon, London and Cumbria. 

Here in Basingstoke, a few lucky residents managed to spot the meteor when it was visible for around seven seconds.

One of The Gazette’s Camera Club members said they had ‘never seen anything like it’.

While a second reported seeing the flash of light before it started ‘breaking up’.

According to The U.K. Meteor Network, an astronomy group that uses cameras to record sightings across the country, the meteor was a fireball.

Writing on Twitter, they said: “From the two videos we saw it was a slow moving meteor with clearly visible fragmentation.”

But the sight is nothing to fear. According to the American Meteor Association, The Guardian reports that several thousand meteors occur in the earth’s atmosphere every day though most happen over the ocean or parts of the world that are uninhibited. 

What is a meteor?

A meteor is a space rock—or meteoroid—that enters Earth's atmosphere.

As the space rock falls toward Earth, the resistance—or drag—of the air on the rock makes it extremely hot.

Fireballs occur when a meteor or another space rock hits the atmosphere.

Air seeps into the pores of the rock, pushing it apart and causing it to explode.

The International Meteor Organisation (IMO) said: “Fireballs are meteors that appear brighter than normal.

"Due to the velocity at which they strike the Earth’s atmosphere, fragments larger than one millimetre have the capability to produce a bright flash as they streak through the heavens above.

“These bright meteors are what we call fireballs and they often strike fear and awe for those who witness them.”

The most famous fireball in modern history came when a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk in 2013.

The explosion, caused by a 65.6ft (20m) meteor, was so powerful it smashed windows across the city and injured more than 1,000 people.

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