With the first direct detection of merging black holes in 2015, the era of gravitational wave (GW) astrophysics began. A complete picture of compact object mergers, however, requires the detection of an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart. We report ultraviolet (UV) and x-ray observations by Swift and the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array of the EM counter part of the binary neutron star merger GW170817. The bright, rapidly fading UV emission indicates a high mass (approximate to 0.03 solar masses) wind-driven outflow with moderate electron fraction (Y-e approximate to 0.27). Combined with the x-ray limits, we favor an observer viewing angle of approximate to 30 degrees away from the orbital rotation axis, which avoids both obscuration from the heaviest elements in the orbital plane and a direct view of any ultrarelativistic, highly collimated ejecta (a gamma-ray burst afterglow).