International Space Station flyover: How to trick your kids into thinking they've seen Santa tonight

Emma Haslett
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Santa will even pass over the City... (Source: Getty)

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.

DateApproximate brightness of the ISSStart timeDirection of ISS' approachTime ISS reaches its highest pointWhere ISS will disappearEnd timeDetails
24 DecemberIncredibly bright5.20pmW5.24pmSE5.27pmOverhead pass - #ItsSantasSleigh
24 DecemberFaint6.58pmWSW6.59pmSSW7pmVery low short pass - #ItsSantasSleigh
25 DecemberVery bright4.29pmW4.33pmESE4.36pmOverhead pass - merry Christmas astronauts
25 DecemberBright6.06pmW6.09pmESE6.11pmLow pass - merry Christmas
25 DecemberBright5.15pmW5.18pmSE5.21pmLow pass - passes close to moon
25 DecemberBright5.10pmW5.12pmSE5.14pmVery low pass - passes close to Mars

Source: MeteorWatch

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