|XRT Home||XRT Mission Ops||YouTube|
Hinode had a close encounter with Santa last Sunday and XRT has the proof! NORAD informed Hinode scientists that Santa would be zooming around the North Pole while he tested his sleigh. Hinode is in a polar orbit and every 90 minutes it passes over the North Pole. The notice stated that while a collision is unlikely, Santa's magic could disrupt solar observations. Santa's magic is mostly invisible, but it can interact with solar x-rays.
"This is an extraordinary set of observations," said the Hinode Chief Observer. "Although, I've always believed [in Santa], I've never actually observed Santa's magic. This is a once in a lifetime observation."
Santa's magic can linger for several hours but so far, no other images seem to be affected. XRT observers plan to use the data to try to understand the origins of Santa's magic but with only three images, it will be difficult.
While sipping a cup of eggnog, the Hinode Chief Observer noted, "it's rather remarkable that we were able to catch a glimpse of him at all."