If you see anything unusual in the sky overhead this weekend, don’t stop to report a UFO to the Pentagon. Just run.
A piece of China’s Long March 5B rocket—which was launched into space last month—is expected to reenter Earth’s atmosphere sometime late Saturday or Sunday. The window for reentry is unusually wide, and experts aren’t exactly sure when or where the event will take place. Chances of debris coming in contact with a populated area are very, very, very slim, but they’re not being ruled out entirely. The rocket is what’s known in technical circles as uncontrolled.
China has downplayed any risk, likely because an uncontrolled rocket does not reflect positively on its broader ambitions in the cosmos. According to NBC News, the country’s foreign ministry said the rocket would burn up on reentry, as is “common international practice.”
In a statement earlier this week, U.S. Space Command said it was “aware of” and tracking the rocket but likely wouldn’t be able to pinpoint its exact location until a few hours before reentry.
Up-to-date information about the rocket’s whereabouts are being posted to the website Space-Track.org. You can also check out updated predictions from the Aerospace Corporation. Here are some easy links below:
- Space-Track Twitter account (good for regular updates)
- The Aerospace Corporation
- The Aerospace Corporation Twitter account
This post has been updated with additional resources.