Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
UPDATE 9/15/2013 10:30 ET: A federal forestry official said investigators found no evidence of an illegal grow at the fire’s place of origin.
The scope and speed of the Yosemite Rim Fire can be blamed on all sorts of human activity, from twentieth-century logging activity to climate change. The massive blaze is now 80 percent contained, but the nature of the spark that ignited it remains unknown.
In a video posted to Youtube last week, Chief Todd McNeal of the Twain Harte Fire Department speculated that humans were probably behind the fire’s origin, too, as no lightning occurred in the area. And, he added, officials “highly suspect” that the source was an illegal marijuana farm.
No officials will back up McNeal’s claim, the Associated Press reports, and he hasn’t provided any further explanation for why pot growers are suspected. It could just be that they’re usually the source of trouble in the region:
Illegal marijuana grows in national parks and forests have tormented federal land managers for years. Growers hike into remote canyons with poisons and irrigation lines and set up camp for months. The poisons kill wildlife and seep into streams and creeks. The growers leave tons of garbage behind.
Starting the fourth-largest wildfire in California’s history is just one more addition to their rap sheet.
Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.
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.