What is Big Think?  

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

NASA Earth Observatory images of Cleveland (not the city) and Nyiragongo

June 3, 2010, 10:44 PM

The NASA Earth Observatory has been dazzling us with images from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption for months - but they have been dazzling us with volcanoes images for years! Here are two more images for those of you who love seeing volcanoes from above:

Cleveland, Alaska
As I mentioned earlier this week, Cleveland volcano likely had a small eruption over the weekend producing a small ash cloud. Cleveland is already known as an extremely picturesque volcano, both from the ground for its highly conical shape - a textbook andesitic stratocone - and from space. This new June 1 image is from almost directly over the volcano, showing the radial symmetry of the volcano formed by lava and debris flows cascading down the slopes of the volcano. A few new debris flows are observed on the east side of the edifice and a weak grey plume is seen drifting off the southwest with ash fall showing that the plume must have been bigger at some point over the weekend.

Nyiragongo, Dem. Republic of the Congo
On the other side of the planet, Nyiragongo - an alkalic shield volcano that erupts basalts - was captured on May 28 with a white, wispy plume coming from the crater pit. The crater area is a series of collapse craters that periodically fill with lava, sometimes spilling over and sending lava flows down the flanks of the volcano. You can see some younger lava flows on the northwest flanks of the volcano and just above the Shaheru Crater, a flank vent on the edifice. The rapid vegetation growth and weathering hide lava flows from view quickly, unlike volcanoes in the high Andes of Chile which can preserve lava flows in "showroom" conditions for thousands (to millions?) of years.

Both of these images remind us how satellite images have vastly improved our ability to monitor remote volcanoes all around the world - and how quickly we can share that information worldwide.


NASA Earth Observatory imag...

Newsletter: Share: