AN abandoned and out-of-control Chinese space station is to crash somewhere on earth this coming Easter weekend, according to space experts.

Scientists have been watching the rogue satellite Tiangong-1 since contact was lost and it became clear that it would re-enter the atmosphere.

The European Space Agency (ESA) now says that it is due to hit somewhere in the northern hemisphere between March 30 and April 2.

The ESA's Space Debris Office in Darmstadt, Germany, said that reentry would take place in an area between the latitudes of 43º North and 43º South.

This includes a number of cities deemed at "high risk" including Barcelona, Beijing, Chicago, Istanbul, Rome and Toronto.

Most of the space lab, which carries highly toxic material on board, is expected to burn up when it reenters the earth's atmosphere.

However the ESA said that "owing to the station’s mass and construction materials there is a possibility that some portions of it will survive and reach the surface."

Sightings may be possible, depending on location and time of day, with "incandescent objects" lasting up to a minute or more compared to the vast majority of natural meteors which last mere seconds.

The UK and around one third of the rest of the Earth had a "zero probability" of being hit with debris as it is out of the satellites flight path.

Scientist met to hold an international expert workshop to estimate when the satellite would crash, with forecasts now being updated every one to two days.

Holger Krag, Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office said that "reentry may take place over any spot on Earth between these latitudes, which includes several European countries."

"The date, time and geographic footprint of the reentry can only be predicted with large uncertainties. Even shortly before reentry, only a very large time and geographical window can be estimated."

Tiangong-1 is China's first prototype space station and was designed to be a manned lab as well as an experiment and demonstration for the larger, multiple-module Tiangong station.

Launched in 2011, the 8.5-tonne craft has been unoccupied since 2013 and there has been no contact with it since 2016.

Scientist believe that even in 'high risk' areas, the chance of being struck by Tiangong-1 debris are extremely low.

Californian-based research organisation, Aerospace Corporation, which has a website dedicated to the spacecraft, said that the chances of being hit were "about one million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot".

It added: "In the history of spaceflight, no known person has ever been harmed by reentering space debris.

"Only one person has ever been recorded as being hit by a piece of space debris and, fortunately, she was not injured."

However it also warned people to avoid touching any debris found on the ground or "inhale vapours it may emit".

"Potentially, there may be a highly toxic and corrosive substance called hydrazine on board the spacecraft that could survive re-entry," it said.