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The sight of a meteor shooting through the sky last night sparked fears that Planet Earth was about to be invaded by aliens.

A bright meteor briefly swept across the sky over parts of the U.S. Midwest and Canada on Tuesday, before causing a powerful explosion that rattled homes and stunned onlookers.

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The meteor was seen across the region in places such as Ohio, Michigan and Ontario at about 8 p.m. local time.

It caused a 2.0 magnitude tremor which could be felt about 4 miles away from Saint Clair Shores in Eastern Michigan, the United States Geological Survey said on its website.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the flash and boom were definitely caused by a visitor from outer space, rather than a weather event.

‘After reviewing several observational datasets, the NWS can confirm the flash and boom was NOT thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor,’ the NWS in Detroit said on Twitter.

We continue to monitor feeds from astronomical agencies for official confirmation of a meteor.’

Huge fireball meteor explosion sparks fears of Armageddon and alien invasion
The massive meteor looked a lot like a UFO (Credit: Ruptly)
Huge fireball meteor explosion sparks fears of Armageddon and alien invasion
But the phenomenon was actually caused by an object burning up in Earth’s atmosphere (Credit: Ruptly)

The meteor sighting lit up social media.

‘I can’t believe there was a meteor! It shook our house and made a large bang! We thought someone hit our house,’ wrote one Twitter users.

Others had more ominous thoughts.

‘I thought for sure I was either seeing the alien invasion or the apocalypse. It’s awesome in retrospect, freaky … in real time,’ another added.

Hasn't every alien invasion movie started as "likely a meteor?"

— bridget (@Sidewithsense) January 17, 2018

I didn't see the fire ball, but I was outside and saw the sky light up and rumble when the #meteor (alien ship) flew over metro #Detroit#Michigan. Pretty wild.

— AVB313Peace (@AVB313Peace) January 17, 2018

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Ingham County Emergency Management Update wrote a text to local people to reassure them that doomsday was not on the way.

It said: ‘Multiple sources report that a fireball meteor was seen over the county earlier this evening.

‘While many also reported an explosion, there is no indication that anything landed on the ground or caused damage. Most likely it was the boom of the meteor breaking apart. And that there is no need to call 911.’

Meteors are also known as shooting stars and occur when an asteroid, comet or other space object plunges into Earth’s atmosphere and burns up.

When they are particularly bright, meteors are called ‘fireballs’.

MORE: Has a UFO visited your hometown? Find out using this interactive alien sightings map

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