So the UARS satellite with the decaying orbit is supposed to fall, probably sometime Friday afternoon or evening. Details aren't firm, but the latest estimate puts it into the sea off the coast of Chile. North America, they say, isn't in danger.
Biggest chunk–of which there are supposed to be 26 or so that make it down without burning up on re-entry—about three hundred pounds.
Three hundred pounds. That could mess up your evening barbecue pretty good if it comes down a little sooner than expected.
Keep watching the skies. Wear a hat.
Oh, and if it should start to come down earlier and you find a smoking piece of it down by the bus stop? Don't touch it, they say. Not radioactive or chemically-dangerous, but there could be sharp edges and you might cut yourself. Call your local police if you find any.
I'm serious. They actually said this. Don't touch it, you might cut yourself.
"Look, honey, it's a piece of that satellite! It's probably worth something!"
"You be careful, Waldo."
"What are you talking about, I'll just grab it–OW! OW! I cut off my finger! Ow! Call somebody!"
Wouldn't you love to be the sergeant who gets that call? Or the patrol officer flagged down?
"Ma'am. What seems to be the problem?"
"There's a piece of a satellite in my flower bed out back."
"Yeah, it's about six inches long. The news said I shouldn't touch it, I might cut myself, I should call the police."
"What, you don't have any gloves? No pliers?"
"No need to get snotty."
"Sorry, ma'am. It could be worse. Your neighbor three doors down? They had a chunk the size of a washtub take out their Volvo. Punched a hole right through the roof, seats, floor, and buried itself five feet deep in the driveway."
"And of course, there's what happened to Waldo, down at the bus stop ..."