December 23, 2009
Get Ready to Track Santa on Christmas Eve
Tracking Santa Claus has become serious business. So serious, in fact, one of our government agencies, NORAD (which stands for North American Aerospace Defense Command), has a web site that tracks Santa Claus and his reindeer throughout the night. You can check out their website through the link below.
At NORAD volunteer employees make use of the agencies sophisticated radar and tracking technology to track exactly where Santa is throughout Christmas night. Every 5 minutes the map on the web site is updated to let you know where in the world Santa Claus is currently delivering presents. They actually use a number of different types of technology to track Santa. Here is a description:
The first thing NORAD does is use a radar system called the North Warning System to determine when Santa Claus leaves the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Once they have detected Santa's take off, they switch over to satellites. These satellites can detect heat and can see Rudolf's red nose from outer space! With these satellites NORAD can pinpoint Santa Claus' location allowing them to use their secret Santa Cams (super high-speed digital cameras) to take pictures of Santa and his reindeer as he travels around the world. Rumor has it that some NORAD jet fighter pilots escort Santa into certain areas of North America. Perhaps this is for his safety, but it's more likely that these pilots just like flying with Santa.
The NORAD Tracking Santa website has other cool information for kids on Santa Claus including a countdown to Santa for kids as well as videos, a 3D tracker, and games.
NORAD has been tracking Santa in some manner since 1955. It was originally a mistake made by a local Sears, who accidentally gave out NORADs phone number as a number for Santa Claus. Needless to say they received lots of confusing phone calls from kids looking to talk to Santa. The NORAD employees took the mistake in stride, however, and decided to start tracking Santa and giving out information on Santa and his location ever since. Via the website, Kids around the world can now have fun tracking Santa.
Here is the link to NORAD's Santa Tracker:
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