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Residents observing the full moon in China yesterday were stunned to see three meteorites exploding in the night sky.

The giant fireballs were said to flash across the sky over Shangri-La County in Yunnan Province, south-west China.

An eyewitness told MailOnline that two of the meteorites were small and one was large. Together, they lit up the sky for around five seconds.

Various clips on the Chinese social media, including one posted by Sina, show one meteorite turning into a great ball of fire as it quickly moved across the sky.

A worker at the Desti Youth Park Hostel in Shangri-La said he and many guests at the hostel saw the burning rocks last night at around 8pm.

The worker said they were sitting in the backyard of the hostel observing the full moon to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional festival in China symbolised by the round, full moon.

He said everyone was amazed when the rocks appeared in the sky.

The worker also said the meteorites landed in a small village around 40 kilometres (25 miles) outside of Shangri-La, as he heard.

Zhang Xingxiang, an expert from the Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Central Television Station that the scene in the video looked like a bolide, which is a very bright meteor.

A local villager told the station that he heard a huge bang and felt the ground shaking. He said his pigs were so scared they ran out of the pigsty.

According to NASA, a fireball was observed yesterday at 12:07 GMT at 28 degrees north latitude and 99 degrees east longitude.

The time and location match with the reports provided by Chinese media and the eyewitness.

NASA reported that the fireball was observed at an altitude of 37 kilometres (23 miles) and it travelled at the great speed of 14.6 kilometres (nine miles) per second.

The explosion is said to have generated 0.54 kiloton of energy, the equivalent to detonating 540 tons of TNT.

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