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

18/12/2015 08:59 GMT | Updated 18/12/2015 13:59 GMT

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.”

Pictures of the Year