What's this – did Santa just hit the nitrous boosters?
Nope. As mentioned here earlier, Santa likes to keep a low profile; he was probably using a radar-eluding rubber sleigh this year. What you're seeing in the below video as a streak of fire paints the night sky is a Russian rocket that reentered the atmosphere on Dec. 24, creating a Christmas Eve miracle of wonder and terror that few witnesses are likely to forget.
The rocket fell back to the Earth after achieving its purpose several days earlier of putting a Soyuz vessel carrying astronauts into contact with the International Space Station. The decaying rocket burst into flames as bright as burning magnesium over Germany and soon looked like a god's-honest comet putting the smackdown on our planet. (Another great video.) It eventually tore into a confetti of sparkling debris before waning from view.
Check out this blazing wonder from Germany: