Gone are the days of being up bright and early to unwrap presents on Christmas morning. Oh no. We’re grown-ups now, didn’t you know? So we get up at the crack of dawn to watch big, bright, shiny things fly through the sky. Yes, that’s right: in what has been referred to as “good visible pass”, the International Space Station is set to soar over the capital city on Christmas Day, just like Father Christmas and his reindeers. *Squeals with childlike glee*
The spacecraft serves as a scientific research lab, designed to orbit the Earth at a whopping 17,500 mph. So, it really is out of this world.
How to see the International Space Station on Christmas Day
The spacecraft will hopefully be visible above the capital city for approximately four minutes at 5.56am on December 25. The sun won’t yet have risen but the International Space Station will be high enough to reflect the sunlight, helping with its visibility. It will also be the third brightest object in the sky after the moon and Venus. Pretty impressive, right?
To maximise chances of spotting the space station, Londoners are advised to head to an open space with a good view of the sky, and distance themselves from streetlights as they look west – so don’t forget that trusty compass. It will appear as a single, fast-moving bright star, so keep those eyes peeled!
Robyn Gatens, International Space Station director at Nasa headquarters in Washington, said: “Even after 23 years of continuous human presence aboard the International Space Station, it’s incredibly exciting to see the station when you look up at just the right moment.”
Here’s hoping we’re not feeling too worse for wear after all that Christmas Eve merriment, hey?
Find out more about when the International Space Station will be visible and how you can track it here.