A MYSTERY object lit up the night sky on Wearside as it streaked through the atmosphere.
The object, which is believed to have been a meteor, gave off so much light that the police were inundated with calls from concerned onlookers thinking it could be a plane in distress.
Mike Ridley, an amateur photographer, of Durham City, managed to capture a picture of the meteor against the backdrop of the Global Rainbow laser display in Whitley Bay.
Mr Ridley, 49, who works for Nissan, said: “I was standing with my friend when we saw a bright light in the sky moving really fast.
“I was there to photograph the laser show in Whitley Bay, but the light caught my eye so I turned the camera around.
“At first I thought it was a firework, then my friend said he thought it was a meteor or comet – I caught the white light and an orange glowing tail in my picture.
“It lasted 30 seconds or more. It was really spectacular. We waited around to see if we would see anything else, but it was over very quickly.”
A Durham Police spokesman said: “The sightings are believed to have been an asteroid burning out which was restricted to the upper atmosphere only.”