YOU better watch out and you better not cry as Santa Claus will soon be coming to town and we know how you can spot him. 

It's become a tradition in many family homes to look out for the International Space Station (ISS) and tell young children it's Father Christmas on his sleigh.

And this year you can look out for him on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as he flies home after delivering presents around the world. 

The International Space Station is the largest space station laboratory ever built and orbits the earth.

As it reflects light from the Sun it looks like a bright light (or indeed, Santa's sleigh) cruising past.

When do I need to look?

If your little ones are up early with all the excitement on Christmas Eve, you've got two chances to spot him.

  • The first one is at 6.07am where the space station will be visible for two minutes.
  • You've got a second chance at 7.41am.

This should be much easier to spot as this time you've got 4 minutes to find him in the sky and he will be much higher above the horizon.

What am I looking for?

Basically you're looking for a bright, white moving light in the sky. 

The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction.

It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles per hour).

We'll need clear skies to spot it so keep your fingers crossed for a favourable forecast.

Where should I look?

The Spot the Station site says he will appear above the South at 6.07am and in the South West at 7.41am. 

Use the compass on your phone if you're not sure which direction to look. 

At 7.41am you'll need to look around 42 degrees in the sky. 

You can work out where this is by following this basic guide from Spot the Station.

A spokesman added: "The horizon is at zero degrees, and directly overhead is ninety degrees.

"If you hold your fist at arm’s length and place your fist resting on the horizon, the top will be about 10 degrees."

What if I miss it?

If we're unlucky with the weather or your children aren't awake in time, you can have another go on Christmas Day. 

There's also opportunities on December 22 and 23 if you want to set your alarm to spot Father Christmas on a practice run.

All the key times you need are in the table below or you can visit spotthestation.nasa.gov for more details on where to look.

Swanage and Wareham Voice: