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In One Ear: Santa Claus is coming to town

NORAD tracks Santa’s progress around the world
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on December 22, 2017 12:01AM

Where’s Santa? The North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) knows, and you can track him Sunday night, too, on their website, (which also has Christmas music performed by the U.S. Air Force Academy Band, videos and other goodies).

Ever wonder how NORAD got involved with Santa tracking? “The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa,’ the website says. “Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations ‘hotline.’

“… Col. Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.” Pictured, courtesy of NORAD, Col. Shoup and the advertisement that roped him in.

So, how do they track Santa (and yes, there’s an app for that)? Rudolph’s bright red nose gives off an infrared signature — similar to that of a missile launch, apparently — which allows NORAD satellites to detect the location of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. Now you know.


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