1806-20 cluster

1806-20 is a obscured star cluster on the far side of the Milky Way 50,000 light years distant. It contains the Soft gamma repeater SGR 1806-20 and the luminous blue variable hypergiant LBV 1806-20, a candidate for the most luminous star in the Milky Way. LBV 1806-20 and many of the other massive stars in the cluster are thought to end as supernovas in a few million years, leaving only neutron stars or black holes as remnants; the cluster is obscured by intervening dust, visible in the infrared. It is part of giant molecular cloud, it has a compact core of ~0.2 pc in diameter with a more extended halo of ~2 pc in diameter containing the LBV and at least three Wolf–Rayet stars and an OB supergiant, plus other young massive stars. Wolf-Rayet star LBV 1806-20 SGR 1806-20 Hypergiant Star cluster Luminous Blue Variable Charles Wolf Georges Rayet The Unusual High-Mass Star Cluster 1806-20

Fearchar, Earl of Ross

Fearchar of Ross or Ferchar mac in tSagairt, was the first of the Scottish Ó Beólláin family who received by Royal Grant the lands and Title of Mormaer or Earl of Ross we know of from the thirteenth century, whose career brought Ross into the fold of the Scottish kings for the first time, and, remembered as the founder of the Earldom of Ross. The traditional story is that goes back to the work of the great William F. Skene, indeed before him, with William Reeves, whom Skene cited; the historian Alexander Grant has challenged this theory, arguing that the evidence for this origin is far too thin to contradict the intuitive and well attested idea that he came from Easter Ross. Grant takes up the idea instead that mac an t-Sacairt refers to a background as keeper of the shrine to St Duthac, at Tain, Scotland. However, despite "Ross" being a word describing the land the Earls managed, Sir Robert Gordon states the Earls of Ross were first of the surname Ó Beólláin, were Leslies…) and continues on page 46 they are called by the surname Ó Beólláin through 1333 when "Hugh Beolan, Earl of Ross" is recorded as one of the slain at the battle of Halidon Hill.

The surname remains as the surname of the Earls of Ross from Uilleam Ó Beólláin I, Earl of Ross until the death of Uilleam Ó Beólláin III, Earl of Ross in 1372 when his daughter, Euphemia I, Countess of Ross married to Sir Walter Leslie. Ross became the surname of the Earls of Ross much in the history of the Earldom. Scholarly work on Fearchar has led to the conclusion that Fearchar was a native nobleman who benefitted by upholding the interests of the King of Scots. Fearchar emerges from nothingness in 1215, as the local warlord who crushed a large-scale revolt against the Scottish king, Alexander II; the Chronicle of Melrose reported that: "Machentagar attacked them and mightily overthrew the king's enemies. And because of this, the lord king appointed him a new knight."Fearchar's ability to defeat the proven might of the Meic Uilleim and MacHeths together suggests that Fearchar could command large military resources, as McDonald points out, this can hardly be explained by his background as a hereditary priest from Tain.

However, the Scottish kings themselves were hardly without authority in Ross, their position could command social power in this distant land, something proved by the MacWilliams, whose authority depended on their descent from a Scottish king. Fearchar's power is not so mysterious, it is possible that Fearchar was made Mormaer when the grateful King Alexander II visited Inverness in 1221. Macdonald, gives some reasons why this might be a little early. Fearchar's initial and comital style appear in a charter granting some lands to Walter de Moravia, a charter dating somewhere between 1224 and 1231. So did Fearchar appear from nowhere as a "novus homo"? The facts are that we do not know what happened to the Mormaerdom of Ross after the death, in 1168, of the last known Mormaer, Malcolm MacHeth. We might compare Ross with other Mormaerdoms, such as Lennox and Carrick, in which these new Mormaerdoms were de iure royal grants to native lords who possessed kinship leadership and de facto status as provincial rulers.

In this view, conferring this style was an act of harnessing organic Gaelic power structures to the political and ideological framework of the regnum Scottorum. In 1235, it is reported; the Revolt of Gille Ruadh in Galloway in 1234/5 required a large-scale levying by the Scottish king. King Alexander invaded Galloway, Gille Ruadh ambushed the royal army bringing it to destruction; however the Scottish King was saved by Fearchar. The defeat of the rebellious Galwegians by another peripheral Gaelic lord in the service of the Scottish King had been parallelled in 1187, when Lochlann, Lord of Galloway defeated the rebellious Domnall mac Uilleim, claimant of the Scottish throne, at the Battle of Mam Garvia, somewhere near Dingwall. In fact, one historian has linked the two events as revenge. Fearchar was recorded as being present at the negotiations which led to the Treaty of York, signed in 1237 One of Fearchar's daughters, called Euphemia, was married to Walter de Moravia, a magnate who ruled Duffus.

Walter's family were of Flemish origin, had been planted in Moray by the Scottish crown as agents of royal authority, but were building an independent power-base. Christina, another of Fearchar's daughters, was married to the King of Mann and the Isles. If we are to use the chronology of the Chronicles of Mann, this happened sometime before 1223, but after 1188; such a move is not surprising. This reminds us that Fearchar was not a slavish Scottish magnate with narrow local aspirations, but an ambitious Gaelic warlord with greater regional goals in the Norse-Gaelic world of the Irish Sea, the world of Alan, Lord of Galloway and the Manx kings. Fearchar's wider connections are further illustrated by his religious patronage. In the 1220s he granted the Premonstraten