Out-of-control Chinese space station photographed as it plunges towards Earth – See pic

Analysts have claimed that the 8.5-tonne module could smash into the American state of Michigan on April 3.

Out-of-control Chinese space station photographed as it plunges towards Earth – See pic
Image courtesy: Gianluca Masi

New Delhi: The out-of-control Chinese space station, Tiangong-1, has been photographed charging towards Earth by an astronomer, in what could be the last glimpse of the broken spacecraft.

The space station which went out of control in 2016 can be seen as a thin white streak of light passing some of the brightest known constellations.

Astrophysicist Gianluca Masi captured the image in Rome, which shows the space station's trail "almost brushing" the bright star Elnath (Beta Tauri).

According to a report in The Sun, the image was captured on March 9, but Masi claims there's still time for star gazers to catch a glimpse of Tiangong-1.

The station will be visible in certain areas on March 18, 19 and 20, notes the astronomer.

It will appear brightest for a brief moment on March 18 at 7:29 pm EST (11:29 pm GMT), before disappearing just after 7:30 pm EST (11:30 pm GMT), The Sun reported

Launched in 2011, the Asian country's first space station was hailed as a potent political symbol of China’s growing power and is now expected to come crashing down to Earth within a few weeks.

Analysts have claimed that the 8.5-tonne module could smash into the American state of Michigan on April 3.

Besides Michigan, analysts have also identified Northern China, central Italy, northern Spain, the Middle East, New Zealand, Tasmania, South America, southern Africa, and northern states in the US as the regions with a high chance of impact.

Tiangong was launched by China as part of a plan to show off its position as a global superpower. The country's space agency referred to the station as the "Heavenly Palace" and conducted a range of missions, some of which included astronauts.

It was used for both manned and unmanned missions and visited by China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang, in 2012.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link

Close