NORAD's Santa Tracker is up and running again this Christmas Eve, allowing eager boys and girls everywhere to keep a close watch of St. Nick during his 24-hour whirlwind toy delivery spree.
Each year, the US-Canadian aerospace defense organization produces a map that tracks Santa in real-time, showing his current location, recent stops, and the next place on his schedule.
Tracking Santa may sound like fun, but it's serious scientific business for the folks at NORAD. According to NORAD's website, the Santa Tracker relies on four systems -- radar, satellites, "Santa Cams" and fighter jets -- to follow his path around the world.
Here's an example of the sophistication behind the tracker:
Satellites positioned in geo-synchronous orbit at 22,300 miles from the Earth’s surface are equipped with infrared sensors, which enable them to detect heat. Amazingly, Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature, which allows our satellites to detect Rudolph and Santa.Want to see where Santa is now? Follow his travels on the NORAD map below.