PEOPLE in Oswestry were left in awe at the weekend as a meteor appeared to explode in the sky above.

Residents in the town reported seeing the meteor explode on Sunday evening, with several reports made across the UK.

The UK Meteor Network has now provided an explanation of what caused the phenomenon – and people weren't too far off the mark.

The group tweeted: "Looks like a lot of people in the UK and Ireland saw the 9:55 #fireball #meteor. The reports are flooding in, 120 so far and counting.

"From the two videos we saw it was a slow moving meteor with clearly visible fragmentation."

Whittington-based astronomer, Pete Williamson, did not see the spectacle, but recalls seeing a similar incident above Oswestry two years ago.

He reassured those worried of a disaster caused by the meteor and stated it is an occurrence which happens more often than people may think.

“I didn’t happen to see it myself, but we do get near objects all the time,” Pete explained.

“Most of them burn up before they reach the atmosphere, but occasionally they’ll come through like this one did.

“It sounds like it was quite low in the atmosphere before it burned up.

“In Knighton we have The Spaceguard Centre which monitors stuff like this – these happen a lot, but we are monitoring to find much, much bigger ones.

“They’re not too rare – it is quite rare you’ll see them over the UK though. The last time I saw one over Oswestry was about two years ago.

“Last night’s was apparently quite big though.”

Meteors are caused by debris floating in space, with some of that debris occasionally entering the Earth’s atmosphere and eventually burning up.

Pete said: “Out in space, we have lots of debris left over from the formation of the Solar System, which happened about five-billion years ago.

“These are all drifting about in space and as we orbit, we come into direct contact with these and they burn up in the atmosphere.

“That one wasn’t one to worry about, but there are bigger ones out there.

“One of those wiped out the dinosaurs – you’re only talking one of half-a-mile across in size to be a planet-wide disaster.

“They are out there, and we have been very lucky – and it isn’t a case of if one hits again, it’s a case of when.

“But there’s nothing that we have tracked in our orbit that will cause us any problems for the next few thousand years.”