Mysterious STAR set to appear on Christmas Eve above Blighty: The ISS

No forecast of wealthy Oriental visitors following, however

NASA's International Space Station is expected to be shining brightly above Britain's skies tonight.

Budding young scientists can probably catch a glimpse of ISS between 5pm and 7pm today - weather permitting, of course.

The Met Office said Christmas Eve will be cold, with clear skies and patchy cloud expected across England and Wales – the two best places to spot the low orbiting space lab later today as it spins around the Earth.

Londoners, for example, should look up at the sky at 5:22pm, at which point the ISS will be visible to the naked eye for four minutes. It will then appear again for just 60 seconds at 6:58pm.

US space agency NASA has a nifty website that allows you to find out exactly when the lab can be spotted above your neighbourhood.

The ISS can regularly be tracked across Blighty's skies when the conditions are good, but that didn't stop the Met Office adding a bit of tinsel to its expected appearance later today.

Rest assured, kids. That ain't Santa. ®

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