Our editors have culled through the year's best images and offer their selections in this '2009 Pictures of the Year' photo gallery.
An Israeli woman lays on the ground Jan. 7 and covers the heads of her two children as an alarm sounds, warning of incoming rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza, at Kfar Azza, southern Israel, near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians react after hearing the news about their dead relatives, outside the morgue in Kamal Adwan hospital in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya, Jan. 13.
Passengers stand on the wings of a U.S. Airways plane after it landed in the Hudson River in New York as a ferry pulls up to it Jan. 15. The plane was an Airbus with 146 passengers and five crew that had just taken off from La Guardia Airport and was trying to return after striking a flock of birds. It was forced to ditch in the Hudson River. Chesley Sullenberger, known as "Sully," the pilot, was being hailed as a hero for successfully landing the plane without any major injuries or fatalities.
Barack Obama takes the oath of office as the 44th U.S. President with his wife, Michelle, by his side at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20. The Obama's were joined by their daughters Malia and Sasha (far right).
Tracy Munch watches as an eviction team removes furniture from her foreclosed house Feb. 2 in Adams County, Colo. She said she and her husband had been renting from an owner, who collected the monthly payments but had stopped paying his mortgage. The bank foreclosed on the property and called the Adams County sheriff's department to supervise the eviction. They managed to borrow enough money to rent another house for themselves and their four children, she said, but not in time to avoid eviction.
A supporter of main challenger and reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, not wanting to be photographed, hides her face using a poster of him as she waits in the stands at an election rally at the Heidarnia stadium in Tehran, Iran, June 9.
Washington police investigator George Klein Jr. examines bullet strikes in one of the doors of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, June 11, a day after a shooting left a security officer dead and the gunman wounded.
A masked girl sits with a classmate at a kindergarten in a residential estate in Hong Kong, June 11. The first flu pandemic of the 21st century, swine flu, has been less deadly than feared since it emerged this year but has taken an unusually high toll among the world's young, leaving thousands dead. The A(H1N1) virus was identified for the first time at the end of March in Mexico and quickly spread, with the World Health Organization declaring a global pandemic on June 11.
A U.S. Marine from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. pauses for a moment during a firefight on July 9 in Mian Poshteh, Afghanistan . The Marines are part of Operation Khanjari which was launched to take areas in the Southern Helmand Province that Taliban fighters are using as a resupply route and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections.
A Palestinian boy reacts as youths frighten him by pointing their toy guns at him in an alley in the West Bank refugee camp of Al-Amari in Ramallah, June. 16.
Family members gather at the coffin of Sen. Edward Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Aug. 29. Kennedy, 77, died Aug. 25 more than a year after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Army Staff Sgt. Freddy De los Santos, 39, left, and Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Daniel Gasca, 22, both amputees from war injuries, talk outside at Yarmony Lodge. De los Santos, a Special Operations soldier, was wounded when his Humvee was struck by a rocket propelled grenade. Gasca was wounded when his vehicle hit an IED in Fallujah, Iraq, Sept. 6, 2008.
The new PS20 solar tower, photographed Sept. 23 at the Solucar Platform in Sanlucar la Mayor, southern Spain, is one of the most powerful commercial solar towers in the world. It consists of a solar field made up of 1,255 mirrored heliostats producing a steam which is converted into electricity generation by a turbine.
A young boy poses for a photo Sept. 25 in an Afghan refugee camp on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan.
A Jordanian is completely covered by a veil, except for her extraordinarily long eyelashes, Sept. 28 in Amman, Jordan.
+Check out all 46 of the editors' choices at the source gallery.