From faraway planets to the deepest depths of the ocean, 2012 has been an exciting year for scientific achievements and milestones.
Humans broke previously unimaginable barriers by detecting an elusive tiny particle and free-falling 24 miles from the edge of space. At the same time, we said goodbye to four retired NASA space shuttles that found new museum-type homes.
Here's our list of the biggest science achievements this year, in order of significance:
1. Curiosity lands, performs science on Mars
Every time I hear the word "curiosity" in a sentence, I'm tempted to butt in and ask if you're talking about the Mars rover Curiosity. She's really there! On Mars! Right now! And people are driving it! (Forgive me, I get excited about this.)