You may have already seen this on the news:
While searching for this video one newscaster on a US news channel referred to it as a meteor shower, despite the fact it was obviously a single object. Who lets these kinds of people on TV?
This was actually part of the rocket which launched the French COROT space telescope on the 27th of December. It was carried into orbit by a Soyuz-2-1b launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. I'm not sure which stage of the rocket this is. The Soyuz-2-1b has 3 stages plus an upper stage which positions the cargo in the correct orbit, in the case of COROT a polar orbit at an altitude of 850km.
There are reports of debris being found but this is extremely unlikely. This sort of thing happens quite often, this time it happened over a populated area and so people noticed. Its pretty rare that anything survives down to the surface of the Earth.
The COROT space telescope will be the first to discover Earth-sized planets around other stars. More about the COROT mission here: