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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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Ideas in visual form

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> 1,000 Words

Inside the Orion Nebula

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4 months ago

Around 1,500 light-years away, hot young stars surrounded by glowing gas make up the Great Nebula in Orion. This massive starbirth region is on the edge of an interstellar molecular cloud. Hubble takes us inside the Orion Nebula with this brightly colored image.  NASA has more:  In the ...

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Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Moon

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4 months 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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4 months 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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4 months 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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4 months 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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Stripped Away

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4 months 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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4 months 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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4 months 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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4 months 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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Orion and Aurora Over Iceland

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4 months 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

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4 months 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

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4 months 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 ...