10 photos show why the Perseid meteor shower is so incredible.

Our solar system is one amazing place. And if you don't already think so, this year's Perseid meteor shower is proof.

In case you slept through Astronomy 101 (I won't judge), the Perseids come our way every year about mid-August, when meteoroids swoosh through our atmosphere at crazy-high speeds and temperatures, leaving "tails" (shooting stars!) to "ooh" and "aah" at.


2015 has been an especially great year to turn our eyes up to the skies because the Perseids' particularly "fast and bright meteors" have had "no moonlight to upstage the shower," according to NASA.

Check out what makes the Perseid meteor shower so cool below:

1.

"Nighttime in Nevada: Perseid Shower over Calico Range." Image by Beau Rogers/Flickr (check out the link to read more about Beau's photo).

2.

Sky over Pilsum, Germany. Photo by Matthias Balk/AFP/Getty Images.

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"2015 Perseid Meteor Shower at Mt. Rainier." Image by trismi/Flickr.


Did you know? The Perseid meteor shower is the most active one of the year. About 100 meteors zoom by per hour at peak activity.

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"I had been planning this night for a while, the weather was going to be nearly perfect," photographer Ryan Hallock noted. Image via Ryan Hallock/Flickr (check out the link to read more about Ryan's photo).

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Perseids above Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Nevada. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.


Did you know? Humans discovered the Perseids a long, long time ago. The earliest records of the shower were spotted in Chinese annals dating back to 36 A.D.

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"Not the darkest place, but dark enough," photographer Jason Foose said. "Over 150 shots here stacked in Photoshop. Raw images." Image by Jason Foose/Flickr (check out the link to read more about Jason's photo).

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Did you know? The Perseid shower gets its name because the meteors look like they're popping out from the constellation Perseus, named after the Greek mythological hero.

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"This image consists of 7 stacked pictures that were taken between 1:41 AM and 2:04 AM local Dutch time," explained photographer Rayann Elzein. Image via Rayann Elzein/Flickr (check out the link to read more about Rayann's photo).

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The good news is, even if you missed the best views of the shower (which were last night, Aug. 12, 2015), you can still peek up on Aug. 13 and expect to see some action.


When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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