OK, it’s actually the International Space Station, but if you are dragged awake at an ungodly hour by the kids, then why not go out and watch “santa” rehearsing his present delivery run?
The International Space Station (ISS) flys overhead fairly regularly, but often in the daytime, or too far south to be particularly noticeable.
However, although not directly over London, the flypast on Christmas eve morning at 7:40am should be pretty decent to see.
To see the ISS, head outside to find a dark spot – a park, or somewhere above the street lighting level — which is easier if living in an west-facing block of flats.
Get acclimatized to the darkness (put the smartphone away!) and look to the western horizon.
At around 7:42am you may notice a bright star flying towards you in a straight line. Can be a bit of a struggle to spot it, but once you’ve seen it, the space station is very obvious against the pre-dawn sky.
Although to the south of the UK, as it’s very high up above the ground, it’ll appear to be almost directly overhead.
You can either point out that it’s Santa doing a rehearsal of the present deliveries he’s making that evening, or if more science minded, that’s it’s an amazing human achievement in space.
Don’t forget to wave to the astronauts.
Then head off to Smithfield for the Christmas Eve auction.
Timings from N2YO.