If you haven’t heard of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, take a few moments to peruse their newly-updated Web site. SDSS has been painstakingly mapping a big chunk of the known universe – every star, every galaxy, everything we can see with telescopes.
Best of all, they’re releasing all their data to the public – about 6 terabytes so far (or as Steve Jobs would put it, “two million songs”.) That translates to lots and lots and lots of really neat eye-candy, plus a bunch of fun science projects made possible by this much data.
[Feb 2006 UPDATE: Fixed the links to point to the main Sloan site; deep linking seems to break whenever a new version is launched.]