Now that 2012 is well behind us, it is fun to take one last look back and ask– what was important to us as astronomers last year? One way (and there are many!) to investigate this is to look at the papers astronomers gave a shout-out to in their own work. So, which 2012 papers were cited the most ?
Without further ado, we present in pictures the top twelve most referenced papers published in refereed astronomical journals in 2012 (as found in an ADS search on February 17), and explain what made so many people care about them. (Note: we excluded astroparticle papers from this list, but there was clearly a lot of excitement in 2012 ranging from the detection of a Higgs-like boson to an apparent gamma ray signature that might be related to dark matter.)