Ireland is within the path of a satellite set to crash to Earth towards the end of this week. NASA who own the satellite said the likelihood of anyone being hurt by falling debris is “very very small”.
The six-tonne aircraft is being tracked by the U.S. Department of State and NASA and the chance of human fatalities is 1 in 3,200.
Nasa’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), which went out of service six years ago, is expected to drop out of orbit some times before Friday. However there is no way to predict precisely where the 800km-long debris will fall.
“There is no reason for anyone to be alarmed,” spokeswoman Beth Dickey told the Irish Times.
“These re-entries happen frequently. No one in the history of space flight has been hurt [by debris]. The odds of anyone being hurt are very, very very small.”
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The range where the satellite could fall starts at the Northern tip of Ireland and stretches down to Patagonia at the tip of South America.
As the satellite falls from the upper atmosphere it’s fragments will look like shooting stars blazing across the sky.
“It will be an oddity, looking up at the sky,” Ms Dickey said.
For updates log onto Astronomy Ireland.