2015 has been a year dominated by the migrant and refugee crisis in Europe, as thousands of people from Iraqi, Syria and Afghanistan, among many other nations, fled their homes. They left behind war, poverty and persecution in hope of better lives on European shores. The heart-wrenching images that emanated from Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Hungary, Croatia and France were not the only ones to convey people’s desperation in face of adversity. In Southeast Asia, Rohingya migrants were forced to drift in Thai waters in search for a nation willing to rescue them.
In the U.S., the year was marked by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the Iran Nuclear deal, the tragic shooting at the Emanuel church in Charleston, S.C., and the early start to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Terror also came to the streets of Paris in January, when members of the Charlie Hebdo staff were brutally assassinated, and in November when eight terrorists killed 130 people in a series of coordinated attacks.
But the year also had its moments of wonder, and those were captured by photographers too—like a stunning photo of the International Space Station crew coming back to Earth and the first clear photograph of Pluto, a planet that had remained a blur, literally and scientifically, for 85 years.
In this slideshow, TIME’s photo editors present an unranked selection of the best 100 images of the year.
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