Christmas is a great time of year, more so for young children. I get quite annoyed when I hear do-gooders ranting on about how it is terrible to perpetuate the lie about Santa, is there really anything wrong about conjouring a wonderful magical memory for children to grow up with? If you like me, love to get kids excited about the forthcoming festivities then there is some great news, on Christmas Eve you can take them outside and they can see the big fella flying over, right there in the sky. How excited are they goning be to see him flying over for themselves (although I suspect it will make it even harder to get your little ones to bed after seeing it)?
Ok so it is not really Santa, but instead the International Space Station (or ISS – which also stands for International Space Santa!) If you live in the UK, then take your little ones outside on Christmas Eve and look low in the south-west between 5.21pm and 5.27pm (UK time) and you will see it! The reality is that it is a multi-billion dollar space station orbiting Earth at speeds in excess of 456 kilometres per hour and it will be visible as a bright moving ‘star’ (even the younger ones will be able to see it) but tell them it is really Santa on his way to deliver presents to children around the World. I guarantee you will fill their eyes with wonder and their hearts with joy. You can rely on the ISS being there bang on time but what you cannot rely on is the weather so keep your fingers crossed for clear skies and maybe, just maybe….you will spot him.
I hope this information helps to make Christmas for your children a little more magical. If you do not live in the UK then you can find out if the Space Station is visible from your location on Christmas Eve with NASAs Space Station Spotter. Meanwhile, as we all sit and hope for clear skies, I wish you all a very merry christmas and a prosperous new year.
Why not sign up for my Youtube channel Stargazing with Mark Thompson and checkout my festive video about the Christmas Star.