Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil fell below $96 per barrel Friday as stockpiles of crude outpaced expectations.
Benchmark oil for March delivery was down 15 cents to $95.80 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 72 cents to finish at $95.95 a barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.
Recent optimism about improving economies in the U.S. and China has helped support an upswing in oil prices. The U.S. housing and jobs markets have shown improvement, while China’s manufacturing output has been gaining steam.
However, Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said that “prices could slip back” if crude inventories continue to rise. The Energy Information Administration said Thursday that U.S. oil supplies rose by 2.8 million barrels last week, more than analysts expected. That pushed oil stockpiles to 363.1 million barrels, up 8.5 percent from year-ago levels.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 24 cents to $113.04 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Hewson said the price of Brent is “stuck firmly in a dead zone of inactivity, but near its recent range highs.”
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.7 cent to $2.87 per gallon.
— Natural gas shed 0.2 cent to $3.444 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil dropped 0.2 cent to $3.074 a gallon.
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.