Year in Review 2012: 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.

Curiosity rover

The Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture the set of thumbnail images stitched together to create this full-color self-portrait in this October 31, 2012 image. (REUTERS/NASA//JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems)


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)

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/

SpaceX Dragon

With the Earth in the background, the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft is seen as it is grappled by the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm in this photo provided by NASA and taken May 25, 2012. Dragon became the first commercially developed space vehicle to be launched to the station to join Russian, European and Japanese resupply craft that service the complex while restoring a U.S. capability to deliver cargo to the orbital laboratory. (REUTERS/NASA)

Blue Moon

A full moon is seen near a blue cross in Skopje August 31, 2012. According to NASA, this is the second time in this month that a full moon is seen - the first was on August 1 to 2. This phenomenon, which is referred to as the Blue Moon, happens every two and a half years on the average. (REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovsk)