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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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> 1,000 Words Posts

Ideas in visual form

> 1,000 Words

Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Moon

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16 days ago

Underground oceans may be venting through these long "tiger stripes" on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The moon's icy interior shoots ice through the stripes and into space.  NASA has more:  Long features dubbed tiger stripes are known to be spewing ice from the moon's icy interior into space ...

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Along the Western Vail

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19 days ago

These red waves of glowing gas arch toward the constellation of Cygnus. They can be found in the western part of the Veil Nebula, the remnant of a large supernova born from the exploding death of a giant star. Light from the original star was visible on Earth over 5,000 years ago. NASA has more ...

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Dusty Cosmic Clouds

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20 days ago

Around 6,400 light-years away, in the constellation of Orion, is this sparkling skyscape captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. On the edge of NGC 2174, this image shows a corner of a nebula-rich constellation.  NASA explains:  It follows mountainous clouds of gas and dust carved by winds ...

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Mars and Spica Blue

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21 days ago

Stargazers have something to look forward to. Over the next few months, a pair of colorful bright objects will be visible close together--Mars and Spica. Next week in particular, Mars will be the brightest that it will be all year.  NASA explains:  The reason that Mars appears so bright is ...

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Stephen's Quintet

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22 days ago

Stephen's Quintet is the name of the first identified compact galaxy group. This remarkable image of it was captured with data from the Hubble Legacy Archive and the Subaru Telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea.  NASA explains this "dance" of galaxies in Space: The galaxies of the quintet are ...

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Stripped Away

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23 days ago

Around 220 million light years away, the spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 speeds through the galaxy cluster Abell 3627. Hubble captured an image of the distant galaxy. As ESO 137-001 travels, its gas and dust are stripped away.  NASA explains:  As the spiral speeds along at nearly 7 million ...

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Moon Meets Jupiter

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24 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

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25 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

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26 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

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27 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

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28 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

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29 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

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30 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 ...