Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
A barge slammed into an abandoned well in a coastal inlet early Tuesday, sending a shower of water, natural gas and oil spewing about 100 feet into the air.
Emergency officials said about 6,000 feet of containment boom was in place around the site in a lake just north of Barataria Bay, which has already been fouled by oil from the massive BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
While there was no estimate of how much oil was spewing Tuesday, officials said the mile-long slick it created was small compared with the Gulf spill.
The Coast Guard said the towboat Pere Ana C was pushing the barge on Mud Lake when it hit the wellhead about 1 a.m. No one was hurt.
The towboat captain told investigators the well was not lit as required, Coast Guard Capt. John Arenstam said.
The Coast Guard hired Wild Well Control Inc. to begin attempts to cap the well later Tuesday. Another contractor is handling cleanup.
The Coast Guard identified the well owner as Houston-based Cedyco Corp., but authorities said they had been unable to contact the company. Calls to Cedyco by The Associated Press were not returned Tuesday.
Deano Bonano, a Jefferson Parish emergency management official, said the spill was “miniscule” in comparison to the BP spill that has dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.
Bonano said the accident, which blocked traffic into Barataria Bay, would not stop attempts by cleanup crews to return to the Gulf after a weekend interruption from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie.
He said no new oil has reached Barataria Bay from the BP spill in the last three weeks and said boats and equipment could be dispatched from other sites along the Louisiana coast, such as Grand Isle.
Mud Lake is at the northern approaches to Barataria Bay, an ecologically sensitive estuary south of New Orleans.
(This version CORRECTS that barge, not towboat, hit the well.)
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.