The phenomenon appears to have been seen across southwestern Europe, including Portugal.

Meteorologist Márcio Santos was one of the first to report a strange situation in the national skies and asked others whether they had witnessed the situation.

"Several reports from various parts of the country report something that appears to have exploded in the atmosphere and there are images. Does anyone know what it was?", he asked on social media.

Later, the French Army clarified that it had launched a missile from one of its bases in the southwest of the country.

"This was the first firing of a version of the M51 missile in its M51.3 version", clarified the French.