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.

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

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Mercury: The Swift Planet Up Close and In Color

March 30, 2011, 3:14 PM

You are looking at the first color image of Mercury from orbit.

Why is this significant?

NASA's Mercury Messenger spacecraft entered orbit around Mercury on March 17, becoming the first spacecraft to ever do so. While orbiting Mercury, Messenger's instruments have undertaken the first complete reconnaissance of the planet’s geochemistry, geophysics, geologic history, atmosphere, magnetosphere, and plasma environment. Today NASA released thousands of orbital images from the Mercury Dual Imaging System. According to NASA, over the course of Messenger's one-year primary mission, the spacecraft's scientific instruments will "unravel the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet."

To find out more about this mission, visit the Why Mercury section of NASA's website.  

Check out these related ideas on Big Think:

Peter Diamandis on the price improvement curve of space travel.  

Esther Dyson: Will We Colonize Outer Space?

Astronaut Leroy Chiao describes the lack of collaboration in space between the U.S. and China. 

Jill Tarter describes the search for life in space




Mercury: The Swift Planet U...

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