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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Ideas in visual form

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Moon Meets Jupiter

17 days ago

Back on July 15, 2012, stargazers across planet Earth received a special treat in the predawn sky.  Many had the opportunity to see an extra-bright Jupiter cozied up to a slender Moon. Europeans especially had the chance to see quite a show. NASA explains: Europeans also had the ...

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The Tulip in the Swan

18 days ago

A "swan" and "tulip" combine to form this beautiful image. The Tulip Nebula is in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. NASA explains: Framing a bright emission region this telescopic view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan ...

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Martian Chiaroscuro

19 days ago

Sometimes images captured by NASA look like works of art. This one looks painted in the style of Chiaroscuro, sharp contrasts between light and dark. NASA explains why: Deep shadows create dramatic contrasts between light and dark in this high-resolution close-up of the martian surface ...

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Reflecting Dust Clouds

20 days ago

These dazzling cosmic waves of blue with dark crests can be found in the constellation Orion. They are the product of M78 and other bright reflection nebula. NASA explains their glow: The dark filamentary dust not only absorbs light, but also reflects the light of several bright blue stars ...

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Near the Center of a Black Hole

21 days ago

A black hole has never been seen directly. There are always clear indicators of a black hole at work. For instance, this image released by NASA shows a swirling whirlpool of hot gas.  NASA explains: Studies of the bright light emitted by the swirling gas frequently indicate not only that a ...

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Orion Nebula in Surrounding Dust

22 days ago

Dust surrounds the Orion Nebula, a hotbed of star formation some 1,600 light years away. Who knew dust could be this beautiful? The "intricate and picturesque filaments of dust," as NASA describes it, covers the entire Orion field. NASA explains: Opaque to visible light, dust is created in ...

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Orion and Aurora Over Iceland

23 days ago

Last month in Iceland, a photographer captured this incredible aurora. Iceland's volcano Öræfajökull can be seen in the foreground. The constellation of Orion is visible to the left of the aurora. NASA explains this dazzling phenomenon: Auroras are sparked by energetic particles from the ...

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3D View of Apollo 17's Lunar Rover

24 days ago

NASA released another 3D image. This time it's of the Apollo 17's Lunar Rover, parked in the Taurus-Littrow valley of the Moon. NASA explains: The color anaglyph features a detailed 3D view of Apollo 17's Lunar Rover in the foreground -- behind it lies the Lunar Module and distant lunar ...

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When Two Galaxies Collide

25 days ago

This incredible image released by NASA looks as though it's a galaxy in the shape of the continent of Africa. "The African Galaxy." It is, in fact, two galaxies that have run into each other, creating millions of new stars. NASA explains: Two galaxies are squaring off in Corvus and here ...

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Star Trails Over El Capitan

26 days ago

From base to summit, Yosemite's El Capitan is around 3,000 feet, and hiding the north celestial pole in this photograph. But follow the star trails, and you'll of course get a sense of where the north celestial pole is anyway.  NASA has more:   Their short arcs reflecting the planet's ...

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Happy Equinox!

27 days ago

Happy equinox! The Sun will cross the celestial equator at 4:57 UT, heralding the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. To honor the day, NASA released this cool image produced using solargraphy, a technique that follows the Sun's annual trek across Earth's sky.  NASA explains ...

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Sky Warp

30 days ago

Unfortunately, this is not what the night sky looks like on a planet many light years away. This image was captured here on Earth. From NASA's website: What's happened to the sky? A time warp, of sorts, and a digital space warp too. The time warp occurs because this image captured in a ...

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In the Heart of the Rosette Nebula

about 1 month ago

This photograph of the dazzling heart of the Rosette Nebula resembles "the heavens" in a painting from the age of romanticism. The bright cluster of stars--the NGC 2244--formed a few million years ago from surrounding gases, according to NASA.  From NASA's website: The above image taken in ...