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Santa has officially taken off and you can track where he is in the sky right now

Santa has officially taken off and you can track where he is in the sky right now

Every year Santa's progress is tracked by NORAD

Santa Claus has officially started this year's journey to deliver presents to children who made it onto the 'nice' list, and you can follow his progress.

That's because volunteers for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) track Santa's sleigh as it flies around, and they've even got a counter for the number of presents he's delivered.

Experts from the US and Canada team up each year and use a series of satellites to keep watch for signs of Santa and his Reindeer, with over 1,250 volunteers making sure you know where he is.

NORAD first started to track Santa back in 1955, making this the 68th time they've followed his progress through the skies.

It all started when a child accidentally called NORAD (then called CONAD) after seeing a newspaper advert for kids to call Santa Claus.

Santa Claus flies so fast it's hard to spot him in the skies, but he's tracked by satellite.
Getty Stock Photo

Colonel Harry Shoup instructed his staff to check their radar for signs of Santa's sleigh after he'd set off from the North Pole, and so a Christmas tradition was born.

These days Santa is tracked by satellite instead of radar, but NORAD still has a hotline you can call to ask exactly where in the world he is right now.

At time of writing (about 11:30am UK time) Santa is doing the rounds over the Pacific Islands, which is about 12 hours ahead so it'd only have been about half an hour until Christmas Day over there.

Fortunately in all those years of tracking him, Santa doesn't appear to have crashed once and he's been doing this job for centuries so he isn't likely to meet with disaster now.

For the tech aficionados among you they've also got the specifications of Santa's sleigh, with it being 75 candy canes long, 40 wide and 55 high.

It weighs 75,000 gumdrops at the start of the delivery run, but has packed on an extra 5,000 by the end of it after picking up some ice and snow from being out all night during the height of winter.

There he is, flying over the Pacific.

As for the gifts, they weigh approximately 60,000 tons, while the big man himself has an official weight of 260lbs.

However, by the time he's home and has tried all the food that's left out for him his weight has increased by 1,000lbs.

Since the sleigh can travel 'faster than starlight' it's pretty much the speediest vehicle in the world, which explains how Santa is able to deliver all of those presents in just one night.

NORAD intelligence has Santa as a man of about 5'7, and that he seems to experience time differently to the rest of us.

In addition, they say that since he knows when you're awake, if you're still up while he's in your area he'll go to another house and wait until you're asleep before delivering presents.

Judging by his progress throughout the world, it seems as though Santa prefers to do his deliveries between 9.00pm and midnight in the time zones he visits.

You can follow Santa's progress on this map.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Image/FlightRadar

Topics: Christmas, World News, Technology