There have been reports of a bright light shooting across the skies over New Zealand last night.

Callers to Newstalk ZB described a "ball of fire" in the sky south-west of New Plymouth.

Some people posted on social media about seeing the sky light up, while others described the light as being green in colour.

One woman posted on Facebook that she saw the light in Lower Hutt.

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"Yup saw it clearly in Lower Hutt. It was huge and the tail colorful."

Other eyewitnesses reported sightings in Blenheim, Porirua, Lake Ferry, Martinborough and Dunedin.

Anybody else see that epic fireball tonight??

Posted by Sean Leslie on Friday, 24 February 2017
Meteors pass by the earth every day. Sometimes they enter our atmosphere with dramatic effects

The Herald was unable to contact an expert to comment on the sighting tonight, but a person at the University of Canterbury's Mt John Observatory said descriptions provided indicated people had seen a meteor.

According to Nasa, small chunks of rock and debris in space are called meteoroids.

They become meteors, or shooting stars, when they fall through a planet's atmosphere; leaving a bright trail as they are heated to incandescence by the friction of the atmosphere.

Pieces that survive the journey and hit the ground are called meteorites.