Cutty Sark

I was heartbroken to see the fire on the Cutty Sark this morning. The good news is that about 50% of the ship was away for restoration. The bad news is that right now the fire is being treated as "suspicious".

I've visited the ship twice, although I've never actually gone aboard for some silly reason. The picture above goes to the Greenwich set from my 2003 trip, which includes a few photos the ship.

Here's a link to an article at BBC News

And here is a link to the Cutty Sark Trust.

{cross-posted with the Tudor History blog}

More bragging on colleagues

We go from gigantic stars blowing up to finding the one of the oldest stars in the Galaxy! This time it is Anna Frebel, the William J. McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow and her metal poor star HE 1523-0901. Yeah, it isn't the sexiest name for a star, but that's not what's important about it. Since Phil Plait over at BadAstronomy has already boiled down the science, I'll just link to his post.


I've got to brag on a couple of colleagues who were mentioned in the New York Times today. From the article:
In a cascade of superlatives that belies the traditional cerebral reserve of their profession, astronomers reported today that they had seen the brightest and most powerful stellar explosion ever recorded.

... Astronomers have been following the star since last September, when it was discovered in a galaxy 240 million light years away in the constellation Perseus by Robert Quimby, a University of Texas graduate student, who was using a small robotic telescope at McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Tex., to troll for supernovas. [note: one addition... Robert is a Post-Doctoral Fellow now, and still at UT]

... “The core is still composed of explosive oxygen,” explained Craig Wheeler of the University of Texas and another of the paper’s authors. “The oxygen ignites and blows the star to smithereens with no remnant, no black hole left.” [another note: Craig is also the current president of the American Astronomical Society]
The star up at the top of the page is Eta Carinae, which is mentioned in the article. It similar to the star that exploded, but much closer to home. If you click on the image it will take you to the press release from Hubble.