NASA Santa tracker 2020: How to watch sleigh fly over the UK on Christmas Day

The countdown clock to Christmas is ticking and Santa’s preparations are in full swing.

His elves have helped him load the last gifts into his sleigh at the North Pole, and he’s almost ready to go.

The man in his red and his 12 reindeer will be jetting off soon – and he’s getting up very early they’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

You and your family can follow their progress around the world early on Christmas Day if you wake up before dawn and look to the skies.

The folks at NASA have been working hard on the NORAD Santa Tracker to help you follow him around the world.

And they’ve let us on a little secret – Santa is using the bright light of the International Space Station (ISS).

Like Santa’s sleigh, the ISS is a state of the art piece of machinery.

It glows so bright in the night sky as the sun reflects off its metallic surface.

You should be able to see Santa’s sleigh from tonight as he uses the ISS for cover throughout his big gift-delivering journey.

And he will be going fast – giving you plenty of viewing opportunities.

Santa’s sleigh will be set to ‘sprint’ mode – matching the speed of the ISS which races once around the world every 90 minutes in a furious orbit.

NASA has a guide here so no matter where you are in the world you can check when to watch for the ISS and the sleigh in the skies.

Santa’s sleigh will next be visible twice on Christmas Day while it is still dark, if the cloud conditions are clear where you live.

The first sighting of Santa and his sleigh will occur at around 5.30am.

At its first pass will be flying at a low angle of about 32 degrees and will be visible for just under one minute.

That’s pretty early – so if you slept through your alarm you’ll get one more opportunity.

The second pass is at 7.30am and while it will be lighter, the object will appear higher in the sky at an angle of 84 degrees.

It will be visible across the UK skies for around five minutes, so you should have plenty more opportunity to see it.