Tonight’s the night when Santa Claus and his team of 8 magical reindeer, led by Rudolph, make their epic journey around the world to deliver Christmas gifts to those of us who have been “nice”. If it can take a New York City messenger upwards of an hour to just go from one side of Manhattan to the other, how does jolly old Saint Nick do it?
Popular Science teamed up with specialist Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University, to do the math to see if Santa’s trip is, in fact, scientifically possible.
The verdict: IT IS… provided that Santa’s sleigh is traveling at an average speed of 5,083,000 mph (which is slower than the speed of light).
But this team of really smart people also came up with another theory as to how Santa gets the massive job done in one night. They contend he uses something called relativity clouds to his advantage. “Relativity clouds, based on relative physics, allow Santa to stretch time like a rubber band and give him months to deliver gifts, while only a few minutes pass for the rest of us,” Popular Science explains.
Warp speed, turbo boost, time stretching clouds, magic, whatever… we just can’t wait to see what he brings!