In a year which has seen the Olympic and Paralympic Games held in the UK, the nation celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and a man become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier and make the highest jump ever from more than 24 miles up, it is difficult to narrow down the highlights of 2012 - but here are our Top 10.

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The weather may not have have played ball but the rainfall failed to dampen spirits as tea parties were held up and down the country to celebrate Queen Elizabeth IIs 60 years on the throne.

That was not the only big royal news this year. There was national joy at the start of December when it emerged that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child.

And who could forget the memorable moment when the Queen greeted Daniel Craig with the words Good evening Mr Bond in the opening of Danny Boyles triumphant Olympic opening ceremony which mixed humour with seriousness as audiences were taken through an abbreviated history of Great Britain.

It was a month or so ahead of that epic Olympic opening ceremony, however, when Games fever reached the British shores. As the Olympic torch was passed from one inspirational person to another, people came out in their tens of thousands.

And the Olympic and Paralympic Games themselves didnt fail to excite, entertain and inspire as the whole of Britain got behind our athletes. Stand out moments include that Super Saturday when Team GB scooped six golds as rowers powered to double glory before female cyclists, golden girl Jess Ennis, long jumper Greg Rutherford and 10,000m star Mo Farah topped the podium. Other magical moments include Chris Hoys record-winning sixth gold medal, David Weir and Sarah Storeys four gold medals, Ellie Simmonds world record and two gold medals, Nicola Adams and Jade Jones history-making victories, Andy Murrays golden win against Roger Federer, Bradley Wiggins taking gold just days after becoming the first Brit to win the Tour de France, the list goes on.

There has also been sporting glory closer to home with Norwich City mixing it up with the big boys, beating Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Man Utd.

And it has been a big year for science. Almost half a century after the idea was conceived, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of a particle consistent with the elusive Higgs boson, which explains why all other particles have mass. Peter Higgs, after whom the particle was named, was at Cern to hear the announcement. He commented: Its really an incredible thing that its happened in my lifetime.

And Nasas huge Curiosity rover survived the seven minutes of terror it takes to land on Mars. The agency used a hovering, rocket-powered crane to lower Curiosity to the ground on nylon cords.

Meanwhile, the world was on tenterhooks as Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner achieved one of the most remarkable feats of modern human endeavour as he became the first man to break the sound barrier without mechanical help after a 24-mile skydive from the edge of space.

And from one daredevil to another, James Bond fans celebrated 50 years of the series which coincided with the release of the 23rd Bond film Skyfall.

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