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

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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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Black Hole

December 14, 2009, 6:07 AM
“An international team of astronomers has accurately measured the distance from Earth to a black hole for the first time. Without needing to rely on mathematical models the astronomers came up with a distance of 7800 light years, much closer than had been assumed until now. The researchers achieved this breakthrough by measuring the radio emissions from the black hole and its associated dying star. Due to the much lower error margin (<6%), astronomers can now gain a better picture of how black holes evolve. Moreover, an exact distance is important for measurements of the black hole’s spin.” The team measured the distance using a combination of telescopes positioned around the world, known as the High Sensitivity Array. They established that the black hole of V404 Cygni is 7800 light years from Earth – which is less than half the distance predicted previously.

Black Hole

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