2012 Year in Review: Astronomical Wonders

Once-in-a-lifetime astronomical events and monumental scientific

achievements drove people to look to the skies and online on Yahoo!

throughout 2012.

NASA

The U.S. space agency NASA heralded relevance again this year, thanks to a picture-perfect landing of the Curiosity rover on Mars, and a not-so-nerdy flight director who caught the attention of the world. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times-POOL)

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A thundershower rolls through as an annular solar eclipse appears in Gardnerville, Nev., on Sunday, May 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

Meteor showers

Stunning nighttime displays of meteors caught the attention of stargazers this year. The Orionid shower in October and the Leonid in November saw meteors zip across the sky. (Tommy Eliassen/SPACE.com)

Baumgartner

Tras varios intentos fallidos por culpa del viento, el 14 de octubre el austríaco Felix Baumgartner logró romper la barrera del sonido en el primer salto estratosférico dado por el hombre. Desde una altura de 39.068 metros, este aventurero adicto a los récords se lanzó al vacío en un viaje que duró nueve minutos y dos segundos. (AP Photo/Red Bull Stratos, file)

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A bird comes into land atop one of the domes of the landmark Taj Mahal as Venus, top left, begins to pass in front of the sun, as visible from Agra, India, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. People around the world turned their attention to the daytime sky on Tuesday and early Wednesday in Asia to make sure they caught the rare sight of the transit of Venus. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)