The thing about space, as someone once said, is that it's big. Really big.

Which is great for us - because it means there are loads of awesome pictures of it.

This year has been an incredible year for space photography. We've seen the farthest, the deepest, and the most detailed pictures of space ever taken - and witnessed a $2bn rover land on Mars, and a commercial space craft dock with the International Space Station.

At the end of the year we're going to publish our final slideshow of our favourite space photographs of 2012.

But to get us started, here are the top 16 we've found so far. If we're missing any let us know - and we'll keep adding until the final list is unveiled in December.

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  • Space Shuttle Endeavour

    Two boys play basketball as the shuttle Endeavour passes by on Crenshaw Avenue on October 13, 2012 in Inglewood, California.

  • NASA's Curiosity Rover Captures Mars

    This image shows the heat shield of Nasa's Curiosity rover and was obtained during descent to the surface of Mars on August 5.

  • Water In Space

    European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers took this photo earlier this year <a href="">while on a six-month mission to the International Space Station. </a>

  • The Farthest Object Ever Photographed

    Combining images from the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes this photo <a href="">set the record for the farthest object ever pictured relative to Earth.</a>

  • The Most Detailed Picture Of Our Galaxy

    <a href="">The largest and most detailed photograph of our galaxy ever taken was unveiled in October</a>. The gigantic nine-gigapixel image captures more than 84 million stars at the core of the Milky Way.

  • Space X Dragon

    This image provided by Nasa shows the SpaceX Dragon cargo craft just prior to being released by the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm (top center) on Thursday May 31, 2012, after becoming the first successful commercial craft to dock with ISS.

  • Transit of Venus

    An image captured by Hinode on June 5, 2012 of the transit of Venus -- the last instance of this rare phenomenon until 2117.

  • Extreme Deep Field

    <a href="">Nasa and the European Space Agency unveiled the deepest view of the universe ever captured in September</a>. The portrait was assembled using 10 years of data from the Hubble Space Telescope, and represents the farthest human beings have ever been able to see into the depths of space

  • UFO?

    This image might not look like much, but it caused consternation for our readers, who feared it was a UFO. <a href="">The strange object was seen emanating from the Sun and was - for a time - unidentified.</a> Eventually Joseph B. Gurman, US Project Scientist for SOHO at Nasa toold is: "The feature that someone identified as a UFO is a highly energetic, electrically charged subatomic particle colliding with the CCD detector in the LASCO instrument."

  • Marble Earth

    The first complete picture of the Earth as seen from above the North Pole <a href="">was released by Nasa in June</a>. The beautiful picture, taken at a height of 512 miles, depicts the Arctic as well as Asia, Europe and Africa.

  • Antennae Galaxies

    Antennae Galaxies are a pair of distorted colliding spiral galaxies about 70 million light-years away, in the constellation of Corvus (The Crow). This view combines ALMA observations, made in two different wavelength ranges during the observatory’'s early testing phase, with visible-light observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

  • The Last Thing Humanity Will See?

    An incredible photo of a pulsing, dying red star revealed strange 3D 'spirals' around its centre - and <a href="">may have shown us what our own star will look like at the end</a>.

  • Mars Rover Self Portrait

    After the $2bn Mars rover Curiosity landed in July, <a href="">it took this amazing photo of its own cameras in the arid, orange landscape</a>. Specifically, the image of the top of Curiosity's Remote Sensing Mast was taken by the Mars Hand Lens Imager, while the dust cover was closed.

  • Solar Eclipse

    An annular solar eclipse is partially seen at sunrise Monday, May 21, 2012, from the coastal township of Gumaca, Quezon province, 187 kilometers (116 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines.

  • Super Jupiter

    In a rare direct photo of a world beyond Earth, astronomers spotted <a href="">a planet 13 times more massive than Jupiter, the largest planet in our own solar system.=, just 170 light years from Earth.</a>

  • Solar Flare

    NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) <a href="">captured this image of an M9-class flare on Oct 20, 2012 at 2:14 p.m. EDT. </a>