TETERBORO, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A Chinese space station could crash into Earth in the coming days.
The abandoned eight-ton Tiangong-1 is decaying and is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Experts say you shouldn’t be overly concerned, but some debris could survive.
“You’ve seen movies about it, you’ve seen it in TV shows, never thought anything like that could really potentially happen,” Carlstadt resident Phil Tarabola told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis. “I guess all things kind of fall apart.”
“I’m actually going down to Cape May, so hopefully that’s far enough,” said Jersey City resident Samuel Chen. “If it happens, it’s my luck, right?”
“I can’t wait for it to happen. I’d like to get a piece,” another New Jersey resident said, adding he’d put it on eBay.
In reality, the odds of a piece making its way to Earth are pretty slim – try less than one in one trillion. Experts say you’re more likely to get struck by lightning or win the lottery than you are to get hit with space debris from objects like the Hubble Telescope or this Chinese space station.
“This is a big thing the size of a school bus. Most of the stuff in it will just burn up in the atmosphere,” said Mordecai-Mark Mac Low, curator of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History.
Experts also say it’s hard to determine where the debris will land, but most of the United States is in its predicted path. Majority of the debris, though, will likely fall in the ocean.
“If you see a really big fireball in the sky in the next couple of days, there’s a pretty good chance you just saw it enter,” Mac Low said.
So heads up, folks, literately. Keep an eye on the sky.
Experts say only one person is known to have been hit with a piece of space debris. It happened more than two decades ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the woman was not hurt.