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

Scientists Watch as Black Holes Destroy Galaxies

April 11, 2012, 1:16 PM
Galaxy%20milky%20way%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

For the first time ever, astronomers have observed how the colliding of two spiral galaxies quickly extinguishes both their star-making powers. By focusing a suite of telescopes on galaxy NGC 3801, an elliptical galaxy which resulted from the recent collision of two spiral galaxies, scientists were able to watch the early results of the cosmic shakeup. They observed that the supermassive black holes, lurking at the center of each galaxy, began consuming nearby star-making clouds of gaseous elements, rapidly aging both spiral galaxies by preventing new stars from forming.

What's the Big Idea?

Our Milky Way is one such spiral galaxy and it is on a collision course with its neighboring galaxy Andromeda, sitting a relatively short distance of 2 million light years away. Thanks to the gravitational attraction between their outward spiral arms, astronomers estimate that they will begin to collide in about 3 billion years. "When that happens, observers on Earth will be able to watch from within the very thick of things as two youthful galaxies merge and grow suddenly old." Of course, it would surprise us if there were still observers around to see the event. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


 

Scientists Watch as Black H...

Newsletter: Share: