Christmas is nearly here! And nothing heralds the Big Day like spotting the first signs that Santa is on his way, dashing through the sky on his present-laden sleigh with his team of trusty reindeer.


If you're looking for an extra bit of Christmas magic for child, you might want to know that NASA's International Space Station (ISS) will be passing over the UK twice on Christmas Eve 2023. And, because it reflects light from the sun, it'll be one of the brightest objects in the sky (after the moon) and look pretty convincingly like Santa's sleigh...

This year's sighting times for December 24th in the London area are 5.10am for about 2 minutes and 6.42am for about 6 minutes.

Yes, it's early! Santa has a lot to get done...

Times vary slightly for other locations in the UK. In Edinburgh and Sheffield, for example, the second sighting time changes by 1 minute to 6.43am. You can find the exact time for your location on the ISS Sighting Opportunities map.

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To make sure you catch it from your location – and know where in the sky to look – you can also sign up for Spot the Station text alerts from NASA.

Pic: Shutterstock


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Helen Brown
Helen BrownHead of Content Delivery

Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies and a mum of 3. Before joining MadeForMums, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.