We introduce the properties of the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) survey for IAU Symposium 204. 2MASS is a near-infrared survey of the entire sky characterized by high reliability and completeness. Catalogs and images for 47% of the sky are now available online. This data release has been used by Wright (2000) and Cambr´esy et al. (2000) to subtract the stellar foreground at 1.25 and 2.2 microns from COBE DIRBE data, revealing the cosmological near-infrared background.
Gizis, John E. and Skrutskie, Michael F., "The Two Micron All-Sky Survey: Removing the Infrared Foreground" (2000). Astronomy Department Faculty Publication Series. 33.