(CNN) - Nobody knows where or when the fragments will hit, but the European Space Agency has said the parts are likely to fall into the ocean or unpopulated areas. Potential spots will be narrowed down closer to re-entry, ESA said on its website.
Re-entry probably will occur Sunday or Monday, Rune Floberghagen, mission manager for the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Explorer, better known as GOCE, told the New York Times.
GOCE was launched in 2009 to map variations in the Earth's gravity in 3D, provide ocean circulation patterns and make other measurements.
ESA's website said the satellite "became the first seismometer in orbit" in March 2011 when it detected sound waves from the earthquake that struck Japan.
GOCE was expected to fall much earlier but fuel consumption was less than expected. In August, the satellite's altitude was lowered to about 139 miles, lowest of any research satellites, to improve the accuracy of the information being gathered, ESA's website said.
GOCE ran out of fuel October 21. On November 4, ESA's website said the satellite was orbiting the Earth at 119 miles and the rate of descent would increase significantly in coming days.
Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-04-22 13:53:33 GMT
Ranchers in Southern Oregon have legally killed a 490-pound black bear after one of their cows was killed by the bear.The Herald and News reports that field biologists say the male bear weighed 490 pounds,More >
Ranchers in Southern Oregon have legally killed a 490-pound black bear after one of their cows was killed by the bear.More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-04-22 15:39:39 GMT
Grand jury transcripts released Monday revealed disturbing allegations about a fugitive who apparently wrote notes on 17 girls, gave them ratings and marked whether they were alone or not. Portland policeMore >
A police detective says Kelly Swoboda wrote about 17 girls, giving them ratings and noting their hair color and whether they were alone or not.More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:34 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:34:16 GMT
Surveillance cameras at San Jose International Airport successfully captured the teenager on the tarmac, climbing up the landing gear of a jet. But in the end, the cameras failed because no one noticed the security...More >
A 15-year-old stowaway who survived a flight over the Pacific in a jet's wheel well spent seven hours undetected in what is supposed to be a highly secure area of San Jose International Airport before the flight...More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:59 PM EDT2014-04-22 16:59:07 GMT
A 16-year-old Beaverton boy who Washington County detectives considered endangered has been found safe in Pittsburgh. Deputies asked the public for help tracking down Steven Zellmer last week. He wentMore >
A 16-year-old Beaverton boy who Washington County detectives considered endangered has been found safe in Pittsburgh.More >
Monday, April 21 2014 9:17 PM EDT2014-04-22 01:17:13 GMT
A former Sherwood teacher who sexually abused an underage student will spend 30 days behind bars. Denise Keesee pleaded guilty to second-degree sex abuse involving a student in March. She was sentencedMore >
A former Sherwood teacher who sexually abused an underage student will spend 30 days behind bars.More >
Monday, April 21 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-04-21 22:51:49 GMT
A man visiting an Oregon Coast suffered fatal injuries when the ocean surf rolled a large log over him as he tried to help a family member Sunday evening.Ming Hsieh, a 58-year-old man from Eugene, wasMore >
Oregon State Police say a wave caused a log to roll over a man visiting the beach with his family.More >
Monday, April 21 2014 4:31 PM EDT2014-04-21 20:31:54 GMT
Lake Oswego police said a Clackamas dad put his daughter in a headlock while trying to take away her cell phone at a high school softball game Friday. Officers said Brett Miller wanted to take away hisMore >
A Clackamas father is accused of putting his daughter in a headlock while trying to take away her cell phone. More >
Tuesday, April 22 2014 1:09 PM EDT2014-04-22 17:09:43 GMT
Cold case investigators say a Portland man found shot to death across the street from a school likely knew and trusted his killers. Police responding to reports of gunfire found the body of Jamaal WellsMore >
Cold case investigators say a Portland man found shot to death across the street from a school likely knew and trusted his killers. More >