If you had been outside about 10pm last night, you may have noticed a gigantic fireball lighting up the sky for a good five to ten seconds or so. Have no fear though, we don't need to send Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck on a mission to save us all, nor has some superhero baby from Krypton rocked up on a farm in Cavan somewhere. (We think.)

Fireballs are actually a pretty common occurrence, with 500,000 a year happening around this planet of ours, although most go unnoticed as they happen over the ocean or during the day.

They are described as brighter-than-usual meteors and happen when a large rock from space burns up in the atmosphere as it collides with Earth at speeds of roughly 100,000 mph.

This one last night is said to have lit up the sky across the island so brightly that the Irish Coast Guard at Valentia Island in Co. Kerry had to contact Astronomy Ireland as so many were reporting them as possible distress flares.

David Moore from Astronomy Ireland said: "This event was so bright that a piece or pieces may have survived the re-entry and landed as extremely rare and valuable meteorites.

"We are appealing to everyone who saw the fireball to fill in an online report form on Astronomy Ireland's website astronomy.ie as soon as possible while the details are fresh in their minds. In return we will send everyone our analysis of all the reports and where we think any meteorite may have landed."

The video below was taken by the UK Meteor Observation Network which shows the fireball across the sky at Portadown, Co Armagh at around 10:10pm.

Did you manage to catch it? We didn't unfortunately. Damn you, American Crime...

Via Irish Mirror