It all started with a Big Bang. Well, actually, it all started with a beach ball. Not just any beach ball, but one imprinted with data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (just call it WMAP for short – we do, it’s much easier). This educational beach ball was developed right here at Goddard, and a couple of months ago we decided to blog about it. During an interview, the ball’s creator told us something interesting – one of the WMAP beach balls can be seen on the set of Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment on The Big Bang Theory! That means we can call it an “As Seen on TV” product, right?
We really wanted a picture that showed the beach ball on the set. Sounds easy? While we could definitely see it hanging out on one of the bookshelves in the episodes we watched, there just weren’t any good photos out there. So on a whim, I went straight to the source – I tweeted at Bill Prady, executive producer and co-creator of the show, to find out if he could get us a picture. He tweeted back, we talked, and while he did offer to take a photo for us… he invited us out to the set to take one ourselves! If you heard some loud squeals of glee around the end of August, that was probably us.
It happened that some of the Blueshift team were already headed out to Los Angeles for a conference, so we asked if we could coordinate a visit with that trip. So here’s the big roadtrip reveal: we’re headed to Burbank today to visit the set and snap some pics of the WMAP beach ball! As you might imagine, there are a lot of fans of The Big Bang Theory at NASA. We even mentioned them in our last Blueshift Ponders entry.
So keep an eye on our Twitter today for behind-the-scenes glimpses of our roadtrip adventures! We’ve got some other surprises up our sleeves, too, and lots more information coming your way. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to unpack my BAZINGA! t-shirt.