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

Top 5 Potentially Inhabitable Alien Planets

July 25, 2012, 12:37 PM
Exoplanet%20new%202%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

Since NASA's Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009, it has discovered over 700 confirmed planets outside our solar system. The most promising planets are those which most resemble Earth, i.e. have about the same size, are made of rock and orbit in its star's habitable zone, where temperatures allow liquid water to be maintained. At the top of the list is Gliese 581g, a rocky planet just 20 light-years from Earth. "It's likely two to three times as massive as Earth and zips around its parent star, the red dwarf Gliese 581, every 30 days or so."

What's the Big Idea?

Discovered in February 2012, Gliese 667Cc orbits a red dwarf star some 22 light-years away, in the constellation Scorpius. "The alien world is a so-called 'super-Earth' that's at least 4.5 times as massive as our planet, and it completes an orbit every 28 days. At least one other planet resides in the 667C system." Third on the list is Kepler-22b, whose name is an homage to the craft that discovered it in December 2011. "If the greenhouse effect operates on Kepler-22b like it does on Earth, the alien world would have an average surface temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius), researchers have said."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


 

Top 5 Potentially Inhabitab...

Newsletter: Share: