Friday, January 16, 2009

Astrophysicists of the Caribbean

What's a nice reassuring thing that can happen the day before you get a flight? Well it's certainly not this - the link is, unsurprisingly, to the plane crash in New York today. It's obviously great news to see that everyone survived with minimal injury, but I think it's amazingly lucky and I expect the pilot deserves a great deal of credit. The current best guess as to the cause of the accident is a flock of birds getting sucked into the engine, so I just hope that large groups of birds steer clear of Glasgow, Heathrow and Miami airports tomorrow.

I should just note that the reason I'm flying tomorrow is that I'm off to GWDAW 13 - a gravitational wave meeting being held, this year, in Puerto Rico. There's ligitimate reason for it to be held in Puerto Rico (honest!) It's the home to the Arecibo radio telescope, and radio pulsar observations are one of the ways to detect gravitational waves - see that's a good reason to be there isn't it! It just so happens that I'm taking a few days holiday in the Caribbean afterwards, but that is not, I repeat not, the reason for going.

[I think maybe I should have saved the title of this post until my next one, but there were sequels to the film, so I can do sequels to this title]