Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have recently released the most complete 3D map of the known universe. The 2MASS Redshift Survey project took the better part of ten years to complete and spans a whopping 380 million light years.
So what was the ultimate motivation behind the project? Was it the betterment of mankind? Was it in order have a better grasp on the layout of the universe of which we are just a small speck of dust? According to H-S scientists the original motivation of the project was to create the most mind blowing poster a space geek could hang in his or her dorm room.
Lead scientist John Huchra had a vision way back in 2000 when he started the original 2MASS project, which then was just a mere 2D map of the universe. He could foresee the coming of the geek-chic movement. John also knew that the survey of the stars would not only look cool, but blow your mind once you realized the subject matter. As technology advanced the project moved to 3D mapping because well, it looked even more bitchin'.
"I knew this project would take about ten years to complete", said Huchra, during an interview in August of 2010, two months prior to his demise. "I could see the trends shifting then, back in 2000, towards geekdom being cool. I was right, today more and more young adults are trying to be geeky, and pop culture is right there feeding the flames.
"I knew since the beginning, by the time the project is complete, geek-chic will be as big as Limp Bizkit and Rap-Rock was when we started, and a poster depicting this map will be up in every wannabe trekkie's dorm room. It will be a cash cow for me...I mean us...I mean will better mankind. I just wish being a geek got you laid as much when I was in college as it does now."
Unfortunately, as mentioned previous in this article, Huchra did not survive to see his dream come to fruition. He passed in October 2010. However he will be proud to know that only a mere 4 days after the official unveiling of the map by his team, the internet is already starting to be littered with merchandise representing his team's decade's long work.