If seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the umpteenth time didn’t satisfy your craving to explore the cosmos, we’ve got plenty of photos of the universe to fuel your imagination. From the smiling purple ‘Cheshire Cat’ galaxy to the Curiosity’s selfies from Mars, WIRED presents 40 of the year’s best space photos.

It was a big space, with NASA’s mission control celebrating its 50th anniversary, astronaut Scott Kelly beginning his year-long mission on the International Space Station, the confirmation of water on Mars, and of course, New Horizons’ amazing flyby of a little something called Pluto.

Space photos are more than pretty pictures. They represent humanity’s eternal need to explore and discover, to answer the ageless question, “Why?” Each photo is a wonder, and raises more questions than it answers.

The Hubble Space Telescope will give way to the James Webb Telescope in just two years, allowing the world to peer even further into the heavens—and the past. The view from here already is pretty spectacular, and we can’t wait to see more.

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The Most Dazzling Photos From Space This Year