2012: A Year in Astronomy

By Andrew Baglini
1/8/2013 10:14:22 AM

2012 was an amazing year for astronomy, with amazing events, new discoveries, and the promise for much more in the future. The year began with a spike in solar activity, leading to solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and beautiful auroras. Astronomers then discovered a new "Goldilocks" planet, which is a rare find. NASA scientists concluded that our galaxy is on a collision course with another, but it will not be a problem for about 5 billion years.

A large part of the year was dedicated to the Mars Science Laboratory Rover "Curiosity," which is just beginning its journey on the Red Planet. The rover made it through the "Seven Minutes of Terror," and successfully landed on the Martian surface in early August. Since then, Curiosity has been roaming the Gale Crater, taking soil and rock samples and analyses, and has only scratched the surface of Mars.