AS A BRAND new year began, I returned to the National Geographic archives in search of images that evoke new goals, adventures, and hopes.

More than half a century into the age of space exploration, we’ve barely scratched the surface; for each accomplishment, a new challenge remains. In 2002, after the installation of a new camera, the Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of a galaxy nicknamed Sombrero, which is brighter than 400 billion suns.

When it comes to adventure, it’s hard to imagine anything more dramatic than Maria Stenzel’s image of the 65-foot yacht Golden Fleece slipping through the steaming volcanic rock of the remote South Sandwich Islands, a six-day sail from the southernmost tip of South America.

And for many Americans, the beloved Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remains a beacon of hope today, just as much as he was when he delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.

This year, let’s set our sights high and keep working toward a better future for all.