Best space videos of 2012

The past year was a good one for fans of space exploration

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The past year has brought a resurgence of interest in space, thanks in large part to NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover, which has transmitted amazing videos and photographs of the Red Planet.

But there was a lot more going on in space during 2012, and much of it was captured by Earthlings. I've assembled some below:

Close encounters of the asteroid kind

A three-mile-wide asteroid that could have ended life as we know it passed just 4.3 million miles from Earth earlier in December. NASA took some video of Toutatis as it flew by using solar system radar. It almost looks like bad stock film from a '50s movie about an asteroid hitting Earth. But this what they look like in real life: stark, cold, gray and slightly ominous.

Spectacular solar flare

A large sunspot that drifted into Earth's view in March was responsible for some large solar flares captured on NASA video.

The Curiosity drama

Here's a 4-minute video about Curiosity narrated by William Shatner.

NASA Johnson Style

I know "Gangnam Style" parody videos are a dime a dozen (I'm afraid to check to see if anyone has done Hitler being told about Gangnam Style), but if you like space, you have to like this video from the folks at NASA:

NASA looks back at 2012

Here's a video from NASA with highlights from the year ending soon (warning: it's almost 50 minutes long).

Now read this:

Bizarre stuff you never knew about Venus and Mars

The tiny (yet powerful) world of speckled computing

Distracting sounds linked to diminished focus, memory, according to LSU study

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