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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

Hubble Confirms 'Super Earth', a Nearby Waterworld

February 22, 2012, 9:15 AM
Exoplanet%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

The Hubble Space Telescope has confirmed that a planet outside our solar system is composed mostly of water. Larger than Earth but smaller than gas giants like Jupiter, the exoplanet GJ 1214b, just 40 light-years away, is a so-called 'Super Earth'. The planet was discovered in 2009 by ground-based telescopes. GJ 1214b orbits a red-dwarf star at such a close distance that scientists estimate temperatures on the planet to be about 200C. "GJ 1214b is like no planet we know of," said Zachory Berta, from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  

What's the Big Idea?

When 'Super Earth' passed in front of its star, scientists were given clues about the planet's consistency as light filtered through the planet's atmosphere. Calculations suggest that GJ 1214b has more water than Earth, meaning its internal structure could be very different from Earth's. "The high temperatures and pressures would form exotic materials like 'hot ice' or 'superfluid water', substances that are completely alien to our everyday experience," said Dr Berta. The planet's proximity makes it a good candidate for the James Webb Telescope to study.

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

 

 

Hubble Confirms 'Super Eart...

Newsletter: Share: