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Full Moon Names 2018: From Wolf Moons to Cold Moons

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Each year since 2004, Space.com has provided a listing of full moon names that date back to a few centuries ago, when Native Americans occupied the region that’s now the northern and eastern United States. Those tribes of long ago kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.

There were some variations in these moon names, but in general, the same ones were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers who arrived in those areas followed their own customs and created some of their own names. Because the lunar (“synodic”) month is roughly 29.5 days long on average, the dates of these full moons shift from year to year. [The Moon: 10 Surprising Lunar Facts]

Here is a listing of all of the full moon names, as well as their dates and times for 2018. Unless otherwise noted, all times are for the Eastern time zone.

The supermoon rises over the treetops in San Jose, California in this image by photographer Frank Langben.

Credit: Frank Langben

With a pair of binoculars or a small telescope, many spectacular features can be spotted on the moon. <a href="http://www.space.com/17702-how-observe-moon-skywatching-infographic.html">See how to observe the moon in this SPACE.com infographic</a>.

Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com

Amid the bitter cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Native American villages. It was also known as the Old Moon or the Moon After Yule. Some tribes called it the Full Snow Moon.

The moon reaches fullness at 9:24 p.m. EST and will arrive at perigee (its closest point to Earth in its orbit) about 4.5 hours earlier, at 5:00 p.m. EST, at a distance of 221,559 miles (356,565 kilometers) from Earth. (A full moon that takes place during perigee is sometimes known as a supermoon.) Because the full moon coincides with perigee, it will appear to be the biggest full moon of 2018. In addition, very high ocean tides can be expected during the two or three days after peak fullness. 

Usually this title is reserved for a full moon in February, since  world tends to be fully coated in snow by then. But this year is an oddity, in that there will be no full moon in February. (This is true for most locations on Earth, but in some places, including eastern Asia and eastern Australia, the moment of peak fullness will occur on the morning of Feb. 1.) During February, the snow and bitter cold makes hunting difficult, so some tribes called this moon the Full Hunger Moon.

This is the second time the moon turns full in a calendar month, so it is also popularly known as a Blue Moon. On average, full moons occur every 29.53 days (the length of the synodic month), or 12.37 times per year. So months containing two full moons occur, on average, every 2.72 years. This year, however, is a striking exception to this rule, as you will soon see.

Jan. 31 will also be the night of atotal lunar eclipse.The Pacific Rim — the lands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean— will have a ringside seat for this event: Totality will last 77 minutes, and at mideclipse, the moon will appear directly overhead (or nearly so) over the open waters of the western Pacific Ocean.

In the western U.S. and western Canada, the eclipse will take place during the predawn hours, but across the rest of North America, the progress of the eclipse will be interrupted by moonset.

This occurrence happens once every 19 years. The last time February didn’t have a full moon was in 1999, and the time before that was 1980; the next time there will be no full moon in February will be 2037. (Once again, this is true for most locations on Earth, but in some places, including eastern Asia and eastern Australia, the moment of peak fullness will occur on the morning of Feb. 1.)

The timing of the full moon is related to the Metonic Cycle, which is named for the Greek astronomer Meton, who discovered this phenomenon around 500 B.C. He noted that a given phase of the moon usually falls on the same date at intervals of 19 years. There doesn’t seem to be a name for a month that lacks a full moon, but February is the only month in which this can happen. Recall what we noted above: The lunar (“synodic”) cycle is roughly 29.5 days on average, but even during leap years, February cannot have more than 29 days. So if a full moon takes place on the final day of January, the next full moon will jump over February and occur at the beginning of March. And this will result in a second month with two full moons; the second full moon makes up for the lack of a full moon in February.

In March, the ground softens, and the earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of the robins. The Northern tribes knew this as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signals the end of winter, or the Full Crust Moon because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. Fullness occurs at 7:51 p.m. EST(0051 GMT on March 2).

Marking the time of tapping maple trees, this is another variation of the Full Worm Moon. In 2018, this is also the Paschal Full Moon, or the first full moon of the spring season. The first Sunday following the Paschal Moon is Easter Sunday, which indeed will be observed the very next day, on Sunday, April 1. This is also the second Blue Moon of 2018 — once again, depending your location, because the moon reaches peak fullness on April 1 for some locations. Fullness occurs at 8:37 a.m. EDT (0037 GMT on April 1.)

One of the earliest-blooming, widespread flowers in North America is the grass pink or wild ground phlox. Other names for this full moon are the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and, to some coastal tribes, the Full Fish Moon, to mark when the shad come upstream to spawn. Fullness occurs at 8:58 p.m. EDT (0058 GMT on April 30).

By this time of year, flowers are abundant. The Full Flower Moon was also known as the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon. Fullness occurs at 10:20 a.m. EDT (1420 GMT).

Strawberry-picking season peaks this month. Europeans called this the Rose Moon. Fullness occurs at 12:58 a.m. EDT (1658 GMT).

This full moon occursin the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out from their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, because it’s when thunderstorms are the most frequent in this part of the world. Sometimes, it’s also called the Full Hay Moon.

There will also be a total eclipse of the moon on July 27. However, it will not be visible in North America because it will be happening during the daytime, when the moon is below the horizon. Much of the Eastern Hemisphere — from Europe and Africa, eastward across Asia to Japan, Indonesia and much of Australasia — will be able to watch this rather exceptionally long totality, which will last 103 minutes. Because the moon arrives at apogee (its farthest point from Earth in its orbit) about 14 hours earlier, this will also be the smallestfull moon of 2018; it will appear 12.3 percent smaller than the full moon of Jan. 1. Fullness occurs at 4:20 p.m. EDT (2020 GMT); the eclipse will peak at 3:21 EDT (1921 GMT).

This full moon occurswhen this large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, like Lake Champlain, are most readily caught. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon, because when the moon rises, it looks reddish through the sultry summer haze. It is also known as the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon.Fullness occurs at 7:56 a.m. EDT (1156 GMT).

Traditionally, this designation goes to the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal (fall) equinox. The Harvest Moon usually comes in September, but (on average) once or twice per decade, it will fall in early October. At the peak of the harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon. Usually, the moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later each night across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans and wild rice — the chief Native American staples — are now ready for gathering. Fullness occurs at 10:52 p.m. EDT (0252 GMT on Sept. 25).

For most of human history, the moon was largely a mystery. It spawned awe and fear and to this day is the source of myth and legend. But today we know a lot about our favorite natural satellite. Do you?

Full Moon over Long Beach, CA

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Full Moon over Long Beach, CA

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With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it’s now time to hunt. Because the fields have been reaped, hunters can ride over the stubble and more easily see foxes, as well as other animals, which can be caught for a banquet after the harvest. Fullness occurs at 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT).  

At this point of the year, it’s time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter. It’s also called the Frosty Moon. Fullness occurs at 12:39 a.m. EST (0539 GMT).

It’s not hard to understand where the name of this moon comes from, as December is the month in which the winter cold fastens its grip on this part of the world. On occasion, this moon was also called the Moon Before Yule. Sometimes, this moon is referred to as the Full Long Nights Moon, which is appropriate because the winter solstice (the longest night of the year) occurs in December, and the moon is above the horizon for a long time. In December in the Northern Hemisphere, the full moon makes its highest arc across the sky because it’s diametrically opposite to the low sun. In fact, the moment of the winter solstice comes just over 19 hours before this full moon, at 5:23 p.m. EST on Dec. 21. Peak fullness occurs at12:49 p.m. EST (1749 GMT).

Which of these lunar displays is your favorite skywatching treat?

  • Space.com
  • Supermoon! Not only is it the biggest full moon of the year, it’s super cool.
  • Full Moons: They come around every month and light up the night.
  • Lunar Eclipses: There’s nothing more spectacular than a blood-red moon in Earth’s shadow.
  • Blue Moon: They’re rare and amazing, if not actually blue.
  • Solar Eclipses: The moon has the power to block out the sun!

Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmer’s Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for Verizon Fios1 News, based in Rye Brook, New York.

Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. We transport our visitors across the solar system and beyond through accessible, comprehensive coverage of the latest news and discoveries. For us, exploring space is as much about the journey as it is the destination. So from skywatching guides and stunning photos of the night sky to rocket launches and breaking news of robotic probes visiting other planets, at Space.com you’ll find something amazing every day.

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Astronomical Odds: Becoming an Astrophysicist Keeps Getting Tougher

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The dazzling star TYC 3203-450-1, in the constellation Lacerta, shines much closer to Earth than the distant galaxy NGC 7250, also visible in this Hubble Space Telescope image.

Paul Sutter is an astrophysicist at The Ohio State University and the chief scientist at COSI science center. Sutter is also host of “Ask a Spaceman” and “Space Radio,” and leads AstroTours around the world. Sutter contributed this article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Ah, the life of an astrophysicist. The money. The parties. The paparazzi. No wonder so many young people flock to their nearest large research universities with stars in their eyes and dreams of Nobels in their hearts, buoyed by fantasies of solving the mystery of dark energy or cracking the enigma of quantum gravity. 

It’s true, sitting at the forefront of academic research is a unique, and sometimes thrilling, position. You are pushing the boundaries of human knowledge, and every experimental result, theoretical insight or recorded observation brings us closer to working out nature’s secrets. And for a moment, scientific discovery is a very private experience. Until you share your results with your colleagues in the community and the public in the wider world, you are the only human on the planet to know that fact, that insight, that datum. [8 Baffling Astronomy Mysteries]

And once you release that information, the volume of humanity’s understanding grows, most times by just a little, but sometimes by quite a lot. And at the end of your career, whether you end your journey as a young, freshly minted Ph.D. setting out into industry or a weathered and wizened emeritus professor, you can rest easy, knowing that academics and non-academics around the world are better off for your work.

Except, there are no jobs. At least, there are very few open faculty or research-lab positions for the people who want them (i.e., young Ph.D. holders). This isn’t new; academic jobs have always been on the rare side. But with the growth of university populations in the past decades, there is a glut of bachelors from all majors, including astronomy and physics. For example, there were roughly twice as many physics bachelor degrees awarded in 2015 than in 1995. And the increased undergraduate population has opened up funds for departments to host more graduate students, who do the majority of the teaching assistantship work. 

So, there are more Ph.D. grads created than ever before, but the same amount of — or fewer — long-term research jobs. Adding to the mix is the postdoctoral research position (often abbreviated as “postdoc”), a temporary job lasting two to five years in which you work to prove yourself as an independent researcher worthy of a faculty position.

The concept of a postdoc isn’t a bad one: How far can you fly without your advisor as the wind beneath your wings? A postdoc also gives you some experience working with a different group other than your graduate institution, so the interconnected web of worldwide researchers grows more tightly knit.

You would think that with a lot of Ph.D. holders and not a lot of long-term jobs, there wouldn’t be a lot of short-term postdoc positions. And that used to be the case; it was generally very tough and very competitive to get a postdoc, but if you did, you would most likely end up in a faculty position somewhere.

But in recent decades, with physical science research funding generally stalling or falling, it’s easier for a department, lab, or center to make a case for a term-limited grant with a small set of objectives than ask for the big bucks necessary for a lifetime, open-ended faculty position. The result: more postdoc positions. So now the field is in a state where about half the newly-minted Ph.D.’s slide right into a postdoc position.

Which is good! If you’re really into short-term positions. But now there are still a lot of faculty-wannabes in the system, and still not enough positions for them. There’s money for continued postdoc positions, creating a dangerous trend: Instead of the old “Ph.D. -> small chance of a postdoc -> faculty” pipeline, we have a “Ph.D. -> postdoc -> second postdoc -> maybe another postdoc -> small chance of a faculty job” system.

The result is the same: Most people with a Ph.D. in physics or astronomy won’t end up in a job in that field. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that the harsh cutoff no longer comes when you’re a fresh-faced, probably single 20-something, able to easily and nimbly pivot to another career. Now, the people getting nudged out of the system are in their 30s, haven’t had a stable job for a decade, might be married, might want to start raising a family, and are generally making far less money than peers in their age and skill group.

And if you do get a faculty position, it’s another five years before your tenure review finally cements your career. Some unscrupulous universities even intentionally hire two junior faculty on a track for the same long-term professorship, taking a “two scientists enter, one scientist leaves” approach to fostering top talent.

For a graduate student or postdoc, this career path is not that rewarding. You get built up assuming you’re training for a career in academia, get a degree, then continue to be shunted from position to position. You get to do what you love, true, but with a clock always ticking in the background, reminding you that your time at the scientific forefront is probably nearing an end.

If that’s the system we have, then that’s the system we have, whether I think it’s fair or not. Some people think that a brief time as an active researcher is enough, and more power to them. And a bachelor’s or Ph.D. in physics or astronomy is a major asset for many kinds of jobs in industry, from finance to writing to consulting to Silicon Valley. Many science trainees are able to smoothly transition to a new life, making rewarding (both financially and mentally) lives for themselves. They also tend to make more money, which is nice.

Promising young students are more than welcome to take a chance at the academic wheel of fortune — assuming they know how the game is played. But we’re doing a very bad job at educating undergraduate and graduate students about the prospects of an academic career and what they might have to sacrifice (stability, money, relationships) in order to attain a professorship, and what other noble (rather than Nobel) options might await them with their degrees.

If we want the astrophysics community to thrive and attract new generations of scientists with new insights and new abilities — and especially if we want to encourage youngsters to explore STEM careers — then we first have to be honest about the state of our field.

Learn more by listening to the episode “Why can’t I be an astrophysicist?” on the “Ask a Spaceman” podcast, available on iTunes and on the web at http://www.askaspaceman.com. Thanks to @92Rufino and Vicki K. for the questions that led to this piece! Ask your own question on Twitter using #AskASpaceman or by following Paul @PaulMattSutter and facebook.com/PaulMattSutter.

Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com

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Enormous 'El Gordo' Galaxy Cluster Captured in Hubble Image

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The enormous “El Gordo” galaxy cluster, officially called ACT-CLJ0102-4915, has the mass of 3 million billion suns.

An incredible photo from the Hubble Space Telescope showcases an enormous galaxy cluster that weighs in at a whopping 3 million billion suns.

Due to its massive size, the galaxy cluster has been nicknamed “El Gordo” (Spanish for “the fat one”). Research suggests the cluster is the largest, hottest and brightest X-ray galaxy cluster ever discovered in the distant universe, NASA officials said in a statement

Galaxy clusters, groups of galaxies held together by gravity, are the biggest objects in the distant universe. These clusters take billions of years to form, as smaller groups of galaxies slowly move closer to each other, NASA officials said in the statement. 

The El Gordo galaxy cluster — officially known as ACT-CL J0102-4915 — is located more than 7 billion light-years from Earth. The cluster was first discovered in 2012 by a trio of telescopes, the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile. These observations showed that El Gordo is actually the product of two galaxy clusters, which are in the process of colliding at a speed of millions of kilometers per hour, according to the statement. 

Dark matter and dark energy are believed to heavily influence the formation and evolution of galaxy clusters. Therefore, studying these clusters can help astronomers learn more about the elusive phenomenon, NASA officials said in the statement.

In fact, observations made by Hubble in 2014 showed that most of El Gordo’s mass is concealed in the form of dark matter, according to the statement. 

“Evidence suggests that El Gordo’s ‘normal’ matter — largely composed of hot gas that is bright in the X-ray wavelength domain — is being torn from the dark matter in the collision,” NASA officials said in the statement. “The hot gas is slowing down, while the dark matter is not.” 

The recent image, released by NASA on Jan. 16, was captured using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3. El Gordo is one of 41 giant galaxy clusters surveyed as part of the Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey (RELICS), which is a joint observing program led by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, according to the NASA statement.

RELICS is designed to search for the brightest distant galaxies in the universe. This data will be used to identify faraway clusters of interest for further study by the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to launch sometime in the spring of 2019. 

Follow Samantha Mathewson @Sam_Ashley13. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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New National Defense Strategy to Shed Light on Pentagon's Thinking About War in Space

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at U.S. Northern Command headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

WASHINGTON — Space and cyber warfare moved up the national security priority list during the Obama administration, and are expected to rank even higher under the Trump presidency.

Details on how the military views outer space and cyberspace as battlefronts in future wars should emerge in the national defense strategy that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is expected to unveil Friday.

The national defense strategy — a forward-looking take on the challenges facing the U.S. military and how it is posturing itself to tackle those threats — is what used to be known as the QDR, or Quadrennial Defense Review. Congress last year determined that the QDR had no real value and asked the Pentagon to provide instead a more candid picture of its global commitments and requirements. The thinking is that lawmakers need to better understand what resources are needed for the military to fulfill those responsibilities. [The Most Powerful Space Weapons Concepts]

Andrew Philip Hunter, director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said space and cyber are likely to feature prominently in Secretary Mattis’ first national defense strategy.

In the first year of the Trump administration, space, cyber and missile defense have “really risen on the scope as modernization priorities,” Hunter said Wednesday at a CSIS news conference. Although it is still not clear that the rhetoric about the importance of space and cyber will be matched by policy and funding.

The next Pentagon’s budget could be a show-me moment.

Space and cyber are “new investment categories that are trying to displace, to some extent, existing force structure,” he said. Defense leaders and strategists have said the military needs to invest in modern technology to improve data analysis, intelligence, surveillance and other information-centric capabilities. But most of the Pentagon’s budget today is spent on old-school weapons. This creates a dilemma for the administration as it tries to position the military to win in the so-called “great power competition” against Russia and China.

“In order to dramatically increase investment in space, the Air Force will probably be required to reduce the size of its tactical fighter fleet in order to be able to afford that kind of investment,” Hunter said. “All of the services are being forced to reallocate force structure into the cyber mission in a pretty major way. That’s hard to do.”

Shifting resources away from traditional military systems to emerging areas of warfare like space and cyber will require some heavy political muscle, Hunter said. “That means it has to come from the secretary,” he added. “Left to their own devices, it’s very hard for the services to make that tradeoff. And that’s why, if it’s not articulated in the strategy, if it’s not coming from the secretary, it’s probably not going to happen.”

The new strategy also may begin to answer questions that the space and arms-control communities have been asking for a long time, such as how the military plans to deter attacks as space becomes more militarized,

That is the “big, burning issue that has not been resolved,” said Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project and senior fellow at CSIS.

“What are we going to do in space to reestablish or improve a stable deterrent posture?” Harrison asked. “We do not want to fight a war in space. That’s a war that’s not going to go well for anyone,” he insisted. “If you know anything about orbital mechanics and orbital debris, we don’t want it to go there.” Military leaders have made this point as well.

How the Pentagon would deter future enemies from launching attacks in space in unclear, said Harrison. “And we’re at a point now where deterrence is not as clear that it will work in space,” he said. “We’re worried about that. The Department of Defense is worried about that.” He wonders whether this strategy will help reestablish a stable “deterrence posture” in space.

In a leaked draft copy of the soon-to-be-released Nuclear Posture Review, the administration highlights the risks that, if a nuclear crisis erupted, U.S. adversaries would immediately target key strategic space assets such as missile-warning and command-and-control satellites.

“In the nuclear realm, it’s long been understood that if you’re actually getting into a nuclear conflict, that of course both sides are going to try to take out the space assets of the other,” Harrison said. “If you’re at that point, the gloves are off.”

That concern is not new, he noted. But deterrence in space has become more challenging for the United States because the same satellites are used for strategic and tactical missions. Classified communications and intelligence gathering satellites that were created to support a nuclear war routinely are employed in conventional missions.

What the Trump administration has to address, Harrison said, is “how do we architect these systems to do what we need them to do in a nuclear crisis, but also to be resilient to attack in a nonnuclear crisis?”

During the Cold War, only the Soviets posed a credible threat to U.S. space systems. “And we basically had an understanding between the two countries: ‘If you attack our space systems, we’re going to regard that as a prelude of a full-scale nuclear war.” The world today is different, and the U.S. military has become hugely dependent on space, even for low-intensity counterinsurgency operations.

“So why wouldn’t an adversary, even a non-state actor, try to disrupt these systems?” Harrison asked. “And we’ve seen evidence of that, things like jamming our satellite-communications signals in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “It is a much more complicated deterrence problem that we have today. We can’t simply assume that the threat of nuclear retaliation is going to deter someone from interfering with our space systems.”

Deterrence is even more difficult as anonymous cyber attacks can disrupt satellites signals. “You can’t prove it,” said Harrison. “There’s not something blowing up. It’s photons interfering with one another,” he said. “Can we really deter those types of attacks anymore?” And when deterrence fails, “we need architectures in space that can withstand attacks, that are resilient.” Further, “we need a posture that makes us more credible that we can deter these types of actions.”

This story was provided by SpaceNews, dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.

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US Air Force's New Missile-Warning Satellite Launching Tonight: Watch It Live

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the new SBIRS GEO Fight 4 missile- warning satellite stands atop Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida ahead of a scheduled Jan. 18, 2018, launch.

The U.S. Air Force’s newest early-warning satellite for missile defense will launch into space from Florida tonight (Jan. 18), and you can watch the action live online.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the new military satellite, called the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 4, from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Liftoff is scheduled for 7:52 p.m. EST (0052 GMT on Jan. 19).

ULA will provide a live launch webcast beginning at 7:32 p.m. EST (0032 GMT). You can watch it live on Space.com here, or directly from ULA’s YouTube channel.

Built by Lockheed Martin, SBIRS GEO Flight 4 is the fourth member of a growing constellation of early-warning satellites designed to detect the launch of ballistic missiles from space. The satellites fly in geostationary orbits, and carry powerful scanning and infrared surveillance gear to track missile launches from orbit. 

The first two satellites, SBIRS GEO Flights 1 and 2, have been operational since 2013. SBIRS GEO Flight 3 launched in January 2017. Two other satellites, SBIRS GEO Flights 5 and 6, are expected to follow.

The Space Based Infrared System GEO Flight 4 missile-warning satellite is seen during assembly and test at Lockheed Martin’s satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California.

Credit: Lockheed Martin

“SBIRS provides our military with timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information,” Tom McCormick, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Overhead Persistent Infrared systems mission area, said in a Nov. 28 statement when SBIRS GEO Flight 4 was shipped to its Florida launch site. “We look forward to adding GEO Flight 4’s capabilities to the first line of defense in our nation’s missile defense strategy.”

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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