While many may have been looking to the skies ahead of a UK space launch, the Met Office confirmed that a meteor had been spotted following reports on social media.
Automatic cameras as part of the UK Meteor Network (UKMON) showed an explosion of light cast across the sky at around 8.01pm.
The Met Office tweeted: “Reports of a meteor in the sky over the UK just now. If you managed to take any footage we’d love to see it”.
The public responded with clips and reports from London, Hertfordshire and Wolverhampton, among others.
Laura, who did not wish to give her surname, from Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, caught the flying object on camera at around 8pm from her front room.
Her video showed a light streaking through the sky above a residential area for just under 10 seconds before disappearing from view.
She told the PA news agency: “I had just turned my computer off and looked up out of the window, it was perfect timing.
“It wasn’t like a shooting star I have seen in the past. It seemed overwhelmingly close.
“It was large in the sky, orange with an orange blaze behind it, not what I would describe as a long shooting star tail but a shorter orange one.
“Then it just disappeared… Popped out of the sky. It seemed like it hadn’t really happened. I tried to tell my husband but they didn’t quite believe my account!”
A Met Office spokesman told PA the time of day and clear skies contributed to the quality of the sightings.
One Twitter user said: “I’ve just seen a stunning meteor burning across the sky. It was so low down and clear and beautiful! Golden coloured.”
Tom Tugendhat MP also reported a sighting “over Westminster”.
The UKMON has 186 cameras positioned around the UK which detect meteors in the sky and feed information to the Global Meteor Network.
Around 50 fireballs were recorded over the UK last year.