For over 50 years, it has been the privilege of space tracking stations and air traffic control centres all over the Earth to work together on one very special project – helping to guide Santa’s path around the world on Christmas Eve.
Flying to the call sign – ‘Big Red One’, dishes on every continent will keep air traffic corridors clear and warn of any hazards as Santa Claus delivers gifts to children who have made his ‘twice checked’ list of ‘naughty or nice’.
In years past, antennas have tracked Santa’s sleigh moving at an astounding 2,060 kilometres per second, making it possible for him to cover a worldwide crisscrossing voyage of 356 million kilometres and visiting an estimated 842 million households – all in one night!
It’s a complex task and a lot of planning goes into making it all possible. There are so many new places he has to go every year, Santa needs help from organisations like NORAD, Air Services Australia and even Google Maps to help guide him.
As Santa races around Australia, the giant dishes of the Parkes Radio Telescope, Australia Telescope Compact Array (Narrabri) and the CSIRO-managed Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex will join in to help coordinate
space sleigh tracking data to control centres in every state and territory.
It’s a big job to do every year and some say it’s impossible. In fact, some people have even said that Santa isn’t even real and have stopped believing – but there is proof! Like so many things these days, Santa’s entire journey can be followed ‘live’ on the internet.
You can follow the flight of ‘Big Red One’ on several special websites especially set up for the occasion. Just login and watch Santa’s amazing journey on either the Air Services Australia, NORAD or Google Maps websites this Christmas Eve.
WARNING! – While you are allowed to watch Santa Claus as he travels around the world, you must be tucked up warm and asleep in your bed before he reaches Australia, otherwise he can’t leave any presents for you to unwrap the next morning.
24th December 2013 at 11:26 am
Reblogged this on Helix @ CSIRO and commented:
Here’s your chance to track Santa this Christmas, with some help from organisations including NORAD, Air Services Australia and Google Maps.