A one-tonne satellite has fallen to Earth in a so-called "death plunge" - but no injuries have been reported.
The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) re-entered the atmosphere between late on Sunday evening.
ESA said the satellite fell back to Earth in a pass that extended across Siberia, the western Pacific Ocean, the eastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica.
It eventually crashed above the tip of South America - but no one was injured.
ESA said: "As expected, the satellite disintegrated in the high atmosphere and no damage to property has been reported."
It added that an estimated 25% of the satellite reached Earth's surface.
Agencies including the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee and ESA's Space Debris Office monitored the reentry.
"The one-tonne GOCE satellite is only a small fraction of the 100-150 tonnes of man-made space objects that reenter Earth's atmosphere annually," said Heiner Klinkrad, Head of ESA's Space Debris Office.
"In the 56 years of spaceflight, some 15 000 tonnes of man-made space objects have reentered the atmosphere without causing a single human injury to date."
GOCE was launched in 2009 to map variations in Earth's gravity and has functioned for three times as long as intended.