There may just be days left to 2018, but in terms of space it was an exciting year with lots to report.
Scientists spotted some new alien planets orbiting distant stars, captured astonishing images of ghost galaxies, solved some long-standing mysteries of the universe, and even sent an expensive car into space. Some old spacecraft were retired from service, while some new missions were launched to improve human understanding about the universe.
So now is the perfect time to look back at the past 12 months and pick some of the most exciting space stories of 2018.
While it is a difficult task to select only a few favourite space stories from hundreds of stories, here are the top 10 most amazing space happenings of 2018, according to V3.
In February, SpaceX surprised the whole world by launching an expensive Tesla Roadster car into space aboard a re-usable Falcon Heavy rocket.
The successful launch of the rocket was a monumental achievement for SpaceX as well as for the U.S. space industry. The car was launched at a speed of 28,800 kph. It cruised around the Earth for some hours before starting its journey towards the Martian asteroid belt. The Falcon Heavy rocket, with twice the towing capacity of any other rocket in use, became the most powerful rocket on Earth.
It is now expected to open up entirely new possibilities for SpaceX, including launching of heavy satellites, future space stations into orbit, and even ferrying cargo to Mars.
Later in April, scientists announced that they have tracked down the most distant star using the Hubble Space Telescope.
The finding was made by a group of scientists led by Patrick Kelly from the University of Minnesota, Steven Rodney from the University of South Carolina and Jose Diego from Instituto de Física de Cantabria in Spain.
Dubbed Lensed Star 1 (LS1), the star sits in the MACS J1149-2223 galaxy cluster and was formed about 4.4 billion years after the Big Bang.
Astronomers were actually observing a type of gravitationally lensed supernova explosion called "Refsdal" when they discovered LS1. They also revealed that LS1 was located at least 100 times farther away than the next individual star they can study, except for supernova explosions.
In June, NASA announced that a huge dust storm had hit its Mars Opportunity rover, forcing the space agency to shift the rover to 'minimal operations' to preserve its power. The storm, which covered an area about the size of North America, prevented the rover from recharging its batteries.
The storm started on 1st June, and continued for several days, creating a dark night over the Opportunity's location. Opportunity rover had earlier seen a similar sand storm in 2007, but the intensity and atmospheric opacity of the storm was much worse this time.
Warming was most pronounced in Siberia region
The tank will be subjected to high stresses and loads via dozens of hydraulic cylinders during testing
'Sunlit wet sidewalk' provides evidence of methane rainfall on the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan
Methane rainfall indicates the start of the summer season in Titan's northern hemisphere
Scientists believe there could be other hydrides or superhydrides with super conducting properties