Santa, ISS, International Space Station, Father Christmas

Santas ISS Passes – Watch Santa (The International Space Station) on his Practice Runs.

Santas ISS: For the past few years, we’ve had some great festive fun in the UK with International Space Station passes in December.

Many Parents, grandparents and guardians have told their little ones that the ISS is actually Santa on his practice runs.  This sounds silly to some, but many small children with playful adults found it magical and really thought they could see Santa!

Will your children see Santa on his practice runs this year?  Perhaps they are too old now and know it’s the Space Station.  Regardless, the ISS is an amazing sight to behold and we can use it to spread some extra magic and inspire them to find out more about Space this Christmas.   Read on to find out more.

Is this for you?

If fooling small children into thinking the ISS is Santa isn’t your thing, and you are all Bah Humbug about it. No problem! You can still watch the station for the wonder that it is.

You can see when the Space Station passes over the UK in December here. Some parents etc. want to keep it real and let their children know it’s the ISS which is great!

There are so many more things you can do to light up their faces this Christmas.

Will Santa (the ISS) be Visible Christmas Eve?

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I get on twitter throughout the year!

The Space Station (Santa for the festive ones) will have passes in December. But unfortunately not on Christmas Eve in 2018.

The next Christmas Eve pass will probably be in 2023 unless the stations orbit changes a lot. We can’t really predict it accurately yet, as so much can change.

Don’t let this put you off though!

See Santa On His Practice Runs in 2018

You can see Santa passing over the UK early December through to mid December in the evenings. You can if you wish spread some early seasonal magic with these pass times. But if not, I’m sure seeing the station will be just as magical and inspiring for kids.

Follow @VirtualAstro on twitter for alerts and countdowns on when it passes over.

Visit https://www.meteorwatch.org/iss-space-station-passes-uk-november-december-2018/ for Space Station (Santas practice runs) pass times.

Most of all! I hope you have a great deal of fun and interest with your children during the passes, whatever you tell them it is.

When to Watch

The table below gives approximate pass times and basic information. This will help you spot Santa as he passes over.

Only bright passes which can be seen from the UK are listed and the information is approximate. Therefore, timings may differ by a few seconds, dependent on observer’s location. Times may change at short notice if the Station performs an orbital boost and changes its orbit. All Timings are local time.

Give yourself plenty of time, get your cameras ready and enjoy Santa as he passes over. Keep your eyes peeled for meteors, satellites and other objects too, they will be visible most nights!

Have a very Merry Christmas.

Pass Times

Times may differ slightly to other sources and can change at short notice, so please check this page daily for accurate timings.

DateBrightnessRises 10° over the horizon (start time)Approaches From (start direction)Highest Point This PassSets/ Goes into Earths Shadow (direction) Goes into Earths ShadowApproximate  Pass Details
10 December 2018Bright18:04W18:07SSE18:09Medium Pass
11 December 2018Very Bright17:12W17:15SE17:18Medium Pass
12 December 2018Faint17:57WSW17:59SSW18:00Low Pass
13 December 2018Bright17:04W17:07SSE17:09Medium Pass
15 December 2018Faint16:57W16:58SSE16:59Very Low Pass

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