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

Search For Earth's Twin Narrows Down To M-Dwarfs

February 13, 2013, 11:31 AM
Shutterstock_3257524

What's the Latest Development?

A study done by astronomers at Harvard University suggests that greater attention should be paid to a class of stars called M-dwarfs, since it seems that almost all of the more than 300 Earth-sized exoplanets currently discovered by NASA's Kepler telescope orbit around one of them. According to astronomer David Charbonneau, “If the Sun is a hundred-watt bulb, M-dwarfs are Christmas-tree lights.” They constitute only a small portion of the total number of stars in Kepler's vision, but they make up a large portion of the stars in the Milky Way. 

What's the Big Idea?

M-dwarfs tend to be more active than our Sun, but the period of activity lasts much longer, which means that any Earth-sized planet that exists in an M-dwarf's habitable zone may have been supporting life for as many as 10 billion years -- more than twice as long as Earth. Thanks in part to Kepler, scientists know that at least 248 M-dwarfs are in our immediate area. If it turns out that these stars are most likely to have Earth-like planets around them, the nearest one could be as little as 13 light-years away -- a distance that the study's lead author Courtney Dressing says "is like a stroll across the park" in astronomical terms.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Time

 

Search For Earth's Twin Nar...

Newsletter: Share: