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Pictures Of The Year: The 12 Most Defining Photos Of 2015

18/12/2015 08:59 | Updated 18 December 2015

It's been another incredible year in photography and we've seen some truly powerful images during the past 12 months. The Huffington Post UK's own picture editors have searched through thousands of images and have hand-picked the 12 pictures that defined 2015.

In January four of the most well-known cartoonists in France were killed in a mass shooting attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in central Paris, two police officers were among the dead, with 10 journalists killed. February produced the stunning image from the Australian International Airshow planes flying over a huge planned explosion.

March saw the extraordinary moment that twitcher Alan LeMay captured the once in a lifetime moment of a weasel riding on the back of a woodpecker as the daredevil pair hurtled through an Essex country park on what appears to be a riotous adventure together.

Kathmandu was rocked by a huge earthquake on April killing over 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000. Prince George gained a sibling in May, the first pictures of the new royal baby girl were revealed as Kate Middleton after Prince William left St Mary's Hospital in London with their new daughter.

Angela Merkel appears to gesture to US President Barack Obama as what can only be described as boasting about her latest fishing trip in June, Sepp Blatter could only look on as fake dollar notes fly around him, thrown by a British comedian during a press conference at the FIFA world-body headquarter's in July.

Wildfires burned across the state of California the month of August and as of November of this year 6,227 fires had been recorded by CAL FIRE, which burned an area of 307,592 acres.

The most defining moment of 2015 came in September as the lifeless body of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up on the shores of Turkey. His family embarked on the perilous boat journey as they tried to reach the Greek Island of Kos. He drowned alongside his five-year-old brother Galip and their mother Rihan. Their father, Abdullah Kurdi, survived.

A bomb downed the MetroJet plane that crashed in Egypt in October according to analysis of the flight date recorder. The plane crashed in the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

On November 13, Paris witnessed a wave of terror attacks that resulted in the attackers killing 130 people, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that the Islamic State were behind the coordinated shootings and suicide bombings. At least 100 died after a hostage situation at the Batalan theatre where hundreds were waiting to watch a concert, while restaurants and a football stadium were also targeted. In honour of those who died in the terrorist attacks, the Eiffel Tower was lit up in the colours of the Tricolore for three straight nights.

After six long years of training British astronaut Tim Peake finally blasted off into space in December and straight to join his colleagues on the ISS. While the world cheered the 43-year-old father of two, his sons understandably found it harder to wave their dad goodbye. His youngest, four-year-old Oliver, crying out loud, said: “I want to go with daddy.”

  • January
    ANNE GELBARD via Getty Images
    Armed gunmen face police officers near the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015, during an attack on the offices of the newspaper which left eleven dead, including two police officers, according to sources close to the investigation.
  • February
    PAUL CROCK via Getty Images
    The crowd watches on as acrobatic pilots perform during the Australian International Airshow at the Avalon Airfield near Lara southwest of Melbourne on February 27, 2015. Some 180,000 patrons were expected through the gates over three public days of the event.
  • March
    Martin LeMay
    Is it a bird? Is it a weasel? No, it's a woodpecker and weasel, hurtling through an Essex country park on what appears to be a riotous adventure together. It could be a scene straight out of an Enid Blyton novel… but hey it’s nature so the most likely outcome is a gladiatorial fight to the death.
  • April
    Bernat Armangue
    A view of the Basantapur Durbar Square that was damaged in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, April 26, 2015. The earthquake centered outside Kathmandu, the capital, was the worst to hit the South Asian nation in over 80 years. It destroyed swaths of the oldest neighborhoods of Kathmandu, and was strong enough to be felt all across parts of India, Bangladesh, China's region of Tibet and Pakistan.
  • May
    Duchess of Cambridge
    A photo released by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The photograph was taken by the Duchess in mid-May at Anmer Hall in Norfolk.
  • June
    MICHAEL KAPPELER via Getty Images
    Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures while chatting with US President Barack Obama sitting on a bench outside the Elmau Castle after a working session of a G7 summit near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany, on June 8, 2015.
  • July
    FABRICE COFFRINI via Getty Images
    FIFA president Sepp Blatter looks on as fake dollar notes fly around him, thrown by a British comedian during a press conference at the FIFA world-body headquarter's on July 20, 2015 in Zurich. The 79-year-old Swiss official looked shaken as the notes thrown by Simon Brodkin, stagename Lee Nelson, fluttered around him in a conference hall at the FIFA headquarters. Brodkin was taken away in a Swiss police car after the stunt.
  • August
    JOSH EDELSON via Getty Images
    A Cal Fire truck is driven away from flames during the Rocky fire near Clear Lake, California on August 2, 2015. The fire has charred more than 27,000 acres, and is currently only 5% contained.
  • September
    Nilufer Demir
    A paramilitary police officer investigates the scene before carrying the lifeless body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi from the sea shore, near the beach resort of Bodrum, Turkey, early Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015. A number of migrants are known to have died and some are still reported missing, after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized.
  • October
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Egyptian Military on cars approach a plane's tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana, Egypt. The Russian cargo plane on Monday brought the first bodies of Russian victims killed in a plane crash in Egypt home to St. Petersburg, a city awash in grief for its missing residents.
  • November
    Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
    The Eiffel Tower is illuminated in the colors of the French flag to honor victims of Paris attacks on November 17, 2015 in Paris, France. At least 132 people were killed and some 350 injured in the terror attacks on 13 November, which targeted a concert venue, a sports stadium, and several restaurants and bars in Paris.
  • December
    AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky
    British astronaut Tim Peake, a member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), gestures to his child from a bus prior the launch of Soyuz TMA-19M space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.

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