Ever wonder how Santa and his reindeer get around the globe so quickly? Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory aren’t sure but they say “ion shielding, personal magnetic fields and multi-dimensional travel concepts show promise.” The lab’s satellite tracking group plans to keep tabs on the jolly old fellow on Christmas Eve using ground-based antennas along with sensors aboard the FORTE and Cibola Flight Experiment satellites (including optical and infrared sensors that detect Rudolph’s glowing nose). You can follow Santa’s progress on the group’s website.
And why doesn’t Santa appear to age despite being more than 15 centuries old? That’s “our biggest clue that he does not work within time, as we know it,” according to sources at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) who have been tracking Santa since 1955. “His Christmas Eve trip may seem to take around 24 hours, but to Santa it could be that it lasts days, weeks or months in standard time. NORAD’s Santa tracker uses a
ground-based radar warning system, satellites that normally watch for
missile launches, jet-fighter escorts, and digital Santa Cams positioned
at strategic locations around the world.
What if NORAD and Los Alamos spot Santa in two different places at the same time? I’m sure physics has a good explanation for that too.—Dawn Stover