Tracking Santa this Christmas with NORAD’s Santa Tracker

A NORAD Satellite image of Santa making his way across the world during his 2019 journey.
A NORAD Satellite image of Santa making his way across the world during his 2019 journey.(Staff)
Published: Dec. 24, 2020 at 7:40 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While the coronavirus has been meddling with many holidays this year, North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, officials assure that Santa Claus will still be making his rounds and they will still be around tracking him just like they have for the past 65 years.

Stacey Knott with NORAD said almost everything about tracking Santa this year will be the same. All day Christmas Eve, people can see exactly where old Saint Nick is on the Official NORAD Santa Tracker website.

“The same way we track Santa is how we do homeland defense,” Knott said, “So our radars, and our satellites, and our fighter jets will be tracking Santa and then our special Santa cameras will be catching glimpses of him as he flies passed special landmarks around the world.”

Because of COVID-19, Knott said there will be fewer NORAD workers in the building throughout the night. That means fewer people will be around to take calls, but they will still be taking them.

While people wait for an answer — or just for Santa to come to their house — there is a ton of information about how he’s tracked and even other data such as how fast his sleigh goes. There are also some games and other media included for some Christmas Eve fun.

Knott explained that Alaskans will have the most time to track Santa, but that also means we have to wait the longest for him to arrive in the Last Frontier.

“Typically he gets Alaska on the way back, on the way home,” she said, “Because he starts in the Eastern Hemisphere and he follows the night sky as he goes around the globe and so typically he gets to Alaska towards the end of his journey.”

However, she reminds children that it’s no good to stay up all night tracking him, because he only goes to the houses where everyone is sleeping.

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