|Santa Rides Again|
|Written by Lucy Black|
|Friday, 24 December 2021|
It is Christmas Eve and Santa Claus has set off to deliver presents to children around the world. Thanks to NORAD and Google you can track his progress on your smartphone or other computing device.
Tracking Santa is now firmly a part of the Christmas tradition and for that we can thank NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command which devotes its time and resources to looking for dangerous incursions into US air space. On one day of the year, Christmas Eve, it takes on a festive role and uses its radar and satellites to follow Santa's progress. Located in a geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles above the Earth these satellites have infrared sensors, meaning they can see the heat given off by Rudolph the Reindeer's bright red nose.
If you want to know the background story, which dates back to 1955, see NORAD Santa Tracker Celebrates Sixty Years.
Google's involvement is more recent - it started devoting developer resources to it in 2004 - and over the years this has grown into a month-long celebration with the Christmas Village opening its doors on December 1st with plenty of activities to for kids to play throughout December. As with all the best Christmas traditions, you'll find familiar favorites with something new added each year - so for example 2015 saw the addition of a Coding Lab and two year's ago saw the introduction of a bedtime story, which just what might be required to send excited children to sleep tonight. One innovation last year, due to COVID restrictions, was that Santa covers his nose and mouth with a mask. And in 2021 it is a masked Santa that is on his way, tracked by Google.
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|Last Updated ( Friday, 24 December 2021 )|