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U of I Physicist says China space station could light up Iowa

University of Iowa Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Allison Jaynes tracking the Chinese space station that's expected to crash back to Earth sometime this weekend.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) - University of Iowa scientists are among those tracking a Chinese space station expected to crash back to Earth sometime this weekend. The laboratory, launched in 2011, has been spinning out of control for the last two years and could finally enter the atmosphere Saturday or Sunday.

University of Iowa Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Allison Jaynes says while the odds are not great we will witness the event in Iowa, the space craft does orbit within a band that includes the state and crosses the corridor, “ It's more likely to end up coming down on the top or bottom of that band and Iowa City is at the latitude very near to that maximum extent, so we’re in one of the high probability regions.”

Professor Jaynes says she realizes that may worry some people, but says there’s no reason to be overly concerned. The odds are one in a trillion plus of anyone being hit by debris and the chances are much greater for anything that's left of the craft to fall in an ocean.

She says she’s encouraging people to consider the space station return as an opportunity, “ If we’re lucky we will actually be in the path of reentry, because we’ll get to go outside and even if it’s daylight, we will probably still be able to see the flames when the space craft comes in through the dense atmosphere.” To follow the track of the Chinese Space Station chick here.

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