7 photos of the Perseid meteor shower that'll leave you agog.

I don't mean to alarm you, but space is happening right now.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every August as the planet Earth drifts through the remains of an ancient comet. As those small bits of rock and ice hit our atmosphere, they heat up until they glow, hurtling through the sky as meteors.

This year, on the evenings of August 11 and 12, we'll be closer than ever to those comet remains. And the view is spectacular.


1. Check out this shot from Spruce Knob, West Virginia.

Image via NASA/Bill Ingalls.

2. And this one from Bryce Canyon, Utah.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

3. Over in the U.K., photographer Dan Kitwood planted himself outside the ruins of Corfe Castle.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

4. And the photos ... well ... the photos speak for themselves.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

5. Yeah.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

6. In this time lapse, you can see the stars whirl across the sky, with meteors showing up like lines across the grain of wood.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

7. That must have been an awesome night.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

If you want to see these awesome night sky scenes for yourself, try going somewhere with a clear view of the sky.

Often, that means finding somewhere far away from the city — artificial light can drown out the meteors' glow.

And if you can't make it out this year, rest easy. Those meteors be back again next August.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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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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