Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
How much of damage can 4,100 barrels of spilled oil do? The agreed-upon answer, reports the Associated Press, will determine the terms of a settlement between Royal Dutch Shell and southern Nigerian communities over a 2008 spill.
Talks begin today between Shell officials and representatives of about 15,000 residents in the vicinity of the Bodo lagoon, where the spill took place. The international and human rights firm representing the affected communities say the spill, the worst in Nigeria’s history, caused the largest ever loss of mangrove habitat. They say it destroyed the livelihoods of many of the communities’ residents, the majority of which are subsistence fishermen and farmers, and affected about 30,000 people in all. A lawyer for the firm, Daniel Leader, said, “These people, since 2008 they are living on a creek of oil. You step out of the front door you see oil, breathe in oil and toxic fumes.”
Shell admitted responsibility for the spill, but is contesting its impact. Officials say the ultimate economic effects of the spill should be the only determining factor in the settlement. Still, independent experts, according to the law firm, say the 4,100 estimate is low, and that Shell in fact spilled between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels of oil into the lagoon.
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.