The Chinese Tiangong-1 Sky is falling & What is to be done? Bob Zimmerman

Mar 29, 12:53 AM


(Photo: Model of the Tiangong Space Lab and Shenzhou manned spacecraft.)

Twitter: @BatchelorShow

The Chinese Tiangong-1 Sky is falling & What is to be done? Bob Zimmerman

Tiangong-1 reentry window narrowed to 24 hours centered on April 1st

March 28, 2018 at 9:15 am Robert Zimmerman

 Tiangong-1 landing possibilities

The reentry window for Tiangong-1 has now been narrowed to 24 hours, centered on April 1st. It is still too soon, however, to determine where it will land. The map on the right shows the likeliest regions in yellow, the next likeliest in green, and areas with no chance of impact in blue.

The focus so far has been on where the surviving pieces of Tiangong-1 might land. The summary at the link notes that it also will provide an interesting fireworks display.

It may be possible to see Tiangong-1 reentering depending on your location, the time of day, and visibility during reentry which will not be known until a few days prior to the event…. Visibly incandescent objects from this reentry will likely last tens of seconds (up to a minute or more) in contrast with the vast majority of natural meteors which last mere seconds.

…Depending on the time of day and cloud visibility, the reentry may appear as multiple bright streaks moving across the sky in the same direction. Due to the relatively large size of the object, it is expected that there will be many pieces reentering together, some of which may survive reentry and land on the Earth’s surface.

The spacecraft does carry toxic hydrazine fuel, so if by some miracle a piece falls near you don’t touch it.