NORAD Santa Tracker – How To Follow Santa’s Journey On Christmas Eve

Where is Father Christmas right now? Watch his amazing journey around the globe

On Christmas Eve, you can follow Father Christmas on his incredible journey around the world using a special interactive tool called the NORAD Santa Tracker.

Santa will travel about 510 million kilometers during that one night as he delivers presents to children across the globe.

The NORAD tracker is an entirely different way to follow the bearded man in the red suit, in the form of an online tool or phone app.

His epic night of household visits on Christmas Eve is tracked by NORAD – the air forces tasked with defending US airspace – on a map that includes a running total of the gifts delivered.

It has done this since 1955 when an advert encouraged children to telephone Father Christmas – but gave the wrong number.

When Colonel Harry Shoup realised what had happened, he quickly told his staff to check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south of the North Pole and give the children who called updates on his current position.

Follow Santa’s journey on the official NORAD Santa tracker here – or you can download the Santa tracker app for Android or iPhone

How NORAD tracks Santa


The powerful NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) North Warning System has 47 installations across northern Canada and Alaska.

NORAD checks the radar closely for indications of Santa Claus leaving the North Pole and tracks him using the same satellites used in providing air warning of possible missile launches.


These satellites are located 22,300 miles above the earth and have infrared sensors, meaning they can see heat. Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature so the satellites detect it with no problem.


NORAD SantaCams are ultra-cool, hi-tech, high-speed digital cameras positioned at many places around the world.

NORAD only uses these cameras once a year – on December 24.

The cameras are turned on about one hour before Santa enters a country then switched off after capturing images of him and the reindeer.

The images and videos are then downloaded onto the NORAD website for people around the world to see.


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