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12 absolutely stunning photos of Earth taken from space.

I'm just gonna go ahead and say that the ISS might just be the greatest photography vantage point ever.

12 absolutely stunning photos of Earth taken from space.

Astronaut Tim Peake just posted an incredible time-lapse video of what a lightning storm over Earth looks like from space.

GIF via Tim Peake/Facebook.


Captured by the International Space Station (ISS) as it passed over Turkey on its way to Russia, the video offers a breathtaking portrait of what it looks like to live in space — in fact, it makes "Interstellar" look like a middle-school science project gone awry.

"Amazing how much lightning can strike our planet in a short time," Peake wrote on Facebook.

Peake's video is just the latest in an extraordinary series of images the ISS has given us over the years. In fact, there are many more pictures of our Earth from space, too. Check 'em out:

1. London at night.

All photos via NASA.

Speaking of Peake, the British astronaut first headed to space in December 2015 and has been regularly posting brilliant images and videos to his Instagram ever since. A former British Army Air Corps officer and the first British European Space Agency astronaut, Peake uploaded this photo of his native London at night on Jan. 31, 2016. Kind of the defeats the notion that England is all gray clouds and fog, doesn't it?

2. The aurora borealis.

Believe it or not, some astronauts are actually trained in photography as part of their preparation for traveling into outer space. Among them is current ISS Commander Scott Kelly, who took this photo with Peake on Jan. 20, 2016.

"Getting a photo masterclass from @StationCDRKelly – magical," Peake wrote on Twitter.

Sign me up.

3. Earth art from Australia.

Not to be outdone, Commander Kelly posted this photo during a flyover of Australia back in October 2015 as part of a 17 photo series. G'day, indeed.

4. Fan art from Australia.

Of course, you don't have to be a professional photographer — or even an astronaut, apparently — to take some stunning space photos. This image of the northwest corner of Australia "was snapped by a student on Earth after remotely controlling the Sally Ride EarthKAM aboard the International Space Station," according to NASA.

5. Fingerprints of water on the sand.

Photographs taken from the ISS serve a much greater purpose beyond simply being gorgeous to look at. In rain-deprived areas like Oman, where this photo was snapped by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, there are thousands of people who lack access to clean water on a daily basis. By teaming with local aid organizations, NASA is able to discover previously untapped water sources and provide these at-risk areas with water purification technology used onboard the ISS.

6. The eye of the storm.

Another benefit of space photography: incredibly precise storm-tracking. Kelly took this photo of Hurricane Danny as the ISS orbited over the central Atlantic Ocean. So again, there's more than just a bunch of pretty views going on here, people...

7. Those views, though.

...which is not to say that ISS astronauts aren't able to capture some remarkable images, like this shot of British Columbia's Coast Mountains taken by Tim Peake on Jan. 5, 2016.

8. The ultimate skybox.

Kelly snapped This photo of Levi's Stadium on the evening of Super Bowl 50. Think of it as the ultimate skybox, if you will. I can only imagine how Eli Manning would've reacted to this.

9. Starry night.

Here's a photo of England, the Baltic Sea, and the Persian Gulf captured by Samantha Cristoforetti. I'd guess this one would have given Vincent Van Gogh a heart attack (ack-ack-ack).

10. Sunrise.

Can't ... look ... away ... too ... awesome...

11. America, the beautiful.

I don't know if it's even possible, but I want this picture on my gravestone. SOMEONE FIGURE OUT THE LOGISTICS FOR ME.

12. EPIC space selfies.

The commander himself, Scott Kelly.

Your move, Ellen DeGeneres.

Aside from doing some of the world's most prestigious whisky-aging, the ISS might just be the greatest photography vantage point ever as well.

Peake's video has already been viewed almost 1 million times on Facebook since being posted on Tuesday, and thousands of eager parents have flooded their social media pages to thank both Peake and Kelly for inspiring their children, too.

This is just another reason to reach for the stars, kids. Because one day, you might actually get to touch them.

Check out the full video here:

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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via Wikimedia Commons and Goalsetter

America's ethnic wealth gap is a multi-faceted problem that would take dramatic action, on multiple fronts, to overcome. One of the ways to help communities improve their economic well-being is through financial literacy.

Investopedia says there are five primary sources of financial education—families, high school, college, employers, and the military — and that education and household income are two of the biggest factors in predicting whether someone has a high level of financial literacy.

New Orleans Saints safety, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and social justice activist Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation hope to help bridge the wealth gap by teaching students about investing at a young age.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.