The fiery end of Tiangong-1 could be just hours away

China's "Heavenly Palace" space station is expected to crash into Earth's atmosphere on April 1, and we're keeping an eye on the skies.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
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Eric Mack
Watch this: Tiangong-1 space station could crash on April 1 (no joke)

It looks like this will be the last day of Chinese Space Station Tiangong-1's existence. 

Recent forecasts call for the spacecraft, whose name means "Heavenly Palace," to fall into the atmosphere beginning as early as 2:47 p.m. PT on Sunday, April 1. 

And no, this isn't an April Fools joke. 

The European Space Agency, Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies and U.S. military all predict the 9-ton station will fall sometime between Sunday afternoon and before 9 p.m. PT.

China, meanwhile, is suggesting a particularly wide prediction window. China Manned Space simply forecasts the wayward space station will re-enter sometime Monday, Beijing time. (It's already Monday in China.) 

Remember, there's almost certainly no reason to worry about any damage from pieces of Tiangong-1 that make it all the way to the ground, but as I outlined earlier, it's understandable to be concerned.

If the craft does fall during the predicted range, it is likely to break up either over the ocean, South America, Africa or Asia. 

Europe, North America and Australia look to be safe at this point.

For more on Tiangong-1's final hours, check out my basic primer. If you see Tiangong-1 streaking across the sky, take a video and tweet it at me @EricCMack.

Stay tuned for more updates as the Heavenly Palace's fall from the heavens draws closer. 

First published March 31, 12:28 p.m. PT.
Update, April 1 at 12:40 p.m. : Includes latest forecasts.