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“Santa’s Sleigh” Will Be Visible On Christmas Eve

Image credit: musicman/Shutterstock

Image credit: musicman/Shutterstock

On Christmas Eve, when you look up at the sky in Great Britain, you will be able to come across a weird passing light that is shining high up among the stars.

Is it the Santa’s sleigh? NO! Actually it will be a quick movement of the International Space Station (ISS) as it flies over the GB.

As we know, on the cycle of every 92 minutes, the ISS makes a full orbit of Earth. But, each orbit covers a different region of the planet; therefore British people are lucky enough to see a passing of the ISS on Christmas Eve. The light they would locate is the sunlight reflected from the satellite’s surface.

According to the calculation of Virtual Astronomer, the ISS will fly over the U.K. in the late afternoon of December 24, starting in the west of the sky at 5.19 p.m. GMT and setting in the south east at 5.26 p.m. These times would be various depending on your location. If you want to know the exact time it would pass over your area, you could use NASA’s station spotter tool to find it out. Another condition allowing people to see it clearly is that it should be a clear night.

Mikhail Kornienko, the Russian cosmonaut and Scott Kelly, the American cosmonaut, who is now the current record holder for the longest time in space, would be on the 400-kilometer-high (248-mile) orbit. High up in the sky, these cosmonauts would celebrate Christmas like us on the Earth, enjoying their relaxed day with gifts, decorations as well as smoked turkey and dehydrated mashed potatoes.