This year, those who celebrate Christmas will receive a rare treat from the Heavens: for the first time since 1977, a full moon will rise on Christmas, illuminating the night sky.
The full moon will peak just as Christmas Day begins: 6:11 a.m. EST on December 25, according to NASA. It is the last full moon of the year, and the first full moon to rise on Christmas in nearly 40 years. December’s full moon – called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during winter – won’t fall on the holiday again until 2034, so those interested in seeing the lunar phenomenon are encouraged to look skywards this Friday morning.
According to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), something else will be visible in the skies, too: Santa himself, with reindeer and sleigh. NORAD’s Track Santa program has been “tracking” Santa’s journey since a fortuitous accident in 1955, when a business misprinted Santa’s telephone number for children to call, sending their inquiries to the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) instead.
When US Air Force Colonel Harry Shoup, CONAD’s director of operations, answered the first call and received a request for Santa’s whereabouts, he kindly asked his staff to check the radar for signs of the iconic figure making his way from the North Pole. NORAD took over the operation in 1958, and the organization, which oversees aerospace activities and defense for Canada and the US, has been “tracking” Santa every year since.
The tracking has become increasingly high-tech, going online in 2007. This year, you can even download an app which will show you Santa’s precise GPS location as he makes his rounds. However, NORAD warns that Santa will only visit homes when children are asleep.
The full moon will make Christmas Eve the brightest night of the holiday season this year, lighting Santa’s way across the skies. While he may not be visible to the naked eye, thanks to modern technology, he’ll be jingling across the computer monitors, smartphone screens and hearts of Christmas revelers throughout the world.
Breaking Israel News wishes all of its readers a happy holiday full of friends, family, and faith!