Penn researchers discover comet, "arguably largest discovered in modern times"

Pedro Bernardinelli, Astronomy postdoctoral researcher and recent department PhD graduate, and Gary Bernstein, Reese W. Flower Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, announced the discovery of a previously unidentified comet through their work on the Dark Energy Survey collaboration. The comet, called Bernardinelli-Bernstein (designated C/2014 UN271), was discovered using "15–20 million CPU hours at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Fermilab to identify more than 800 individual TNOs from among the more than 16 billion individual sources detected in 80,000 exposures taken as part of DES."