The International Space Station (ISS) has been in orbit for 16 years, but it seems this is the year parents have realised they can use it to play a devious trick on their kids: duping them into thinking it's Santa's sleigh.
Yep - with excellent timing, the ISS will appear several times over the UK today and tomorrow, and will appear, in some cases, "incredibly bright".
The station will make its first -and brightest - pass over the UK at 5.20pm. If you miss that, it'll pass over - fainter this time - at 6.58pm, And if you miss it, it'll pass over several times during Christmas Day. An excellent time to explain about timezones, perhaps...?
Want to inject a bit of festive magic? Here are all the times Santa/the ISS will pass over the UK during the festive period. You can track its progress here.
|Date||Approximate brightness of the ISS||Start time||Direction of ISS' approach||Time ISS reaches its highest point||Where ISS will disappear||End time||Details|
|24 December||Incredibly bright||5.20pm||W||5.24pm||SE||5.27pm||Overhead pass - #ItsSantasSleigh|
|24 December||Faint||6.58pm||WSW||6.59pm||SSW||7pm||Very low short pass - #ItsSantasSleigh|
|25 December||Very bright||4.29pm||W||4.33pm||ESE||4.36pm||Overhead pass - merry Christmas astronauts|
|25 December||Bright||6.06pm||W||6.09pm||ESE||6.11pm||Low pass - merry Christmas|
|25 December||Bright||5.15pm||W||5.18pm||SE||5.21pm||Low pass - passes close to moon|
|25 December||Bright||5.10pm||W||5.12pm||SE||5.14pm||Very low pass - passes close to Mars|