Reports of strange lights in the English Channel overnight have been put down to a meteor shower, coastguards said.

Calls were made to stations from Hampshire down to Brixham in Devon and across to Jersey and France at about 9.30pm on Monday, with people saying they were seeing white and green flares in the sky.

A Solent Coastguard spokesman said: "There were reports of flares all down the coast which went on for about half an hour but there was a forecast for a meteor shower."

Meteor showers are caused by debris from a comet burning up in the Earth's atmosphere.

This can produce shooting stars across the night sky, particularly visible on clear nights, which was the case over southern England on Monday night.

Solent Coastguard said it could have been one of three showers forecast - the June Lyrids, the Ophruchids or the Zeta Pearseids.