Did you know that the kind hearted (?!) folks at NORAD have a Santa tracking website? It’s a Google Maps mashup that shows you in real-time where Santa (or Father Christmas ’round these parts) is busy doing his thing…
Check out NORAD Tracks Santa here.
As well intentioned as it is, I did have to laugh at the marketing copy on the site… Here’s a quote from the "How We Track Santa" page (bold added by me):
The moment our radar tells us that Santa has lifted off, we use our second mode of detection, the same satellites that we use in providing warning of possible missile launches aimed at North America. These satellites are located in a geo-synchronous
orbit (that’s a cool phrase meaning that the satellite is always fixed over the same spot on the Earth) at 22,300 miles above the Earth. The satellites have infrared sensors, meaning they can detect heat. When a rocket or missile is launched, a tremendous amount of heat is produced – enough for the satellites to detect. Rudolph’s nose gives off an infrared signature similar to a missile launch. The satellites can detect Rudolph’s bright red nose
with practically no problem.
A cheery Christmas message that ties in potential mass destruction and missiles too. I just hope Rudolph has some cool countermeasures, just in case some trigger-happy cadet misreads the signal and decides to take him out…
For those of you on the Christmas bandwagon, Merry Christmas. For those of you that are not, enjoy the day off!