Yet it was here that Pedro Bernardinelli and Gary Bernstein found one of the largest known comets to date named after them. “This is an unusual honor for a cosmologist,” Gary Bernstein, an astronomer at the University of Pennsylvania told Space.
The researchers looked at Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein in data called the Dark Energy Survey (DES), which ran on the telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile from 2013 to 2019.
The Dark Energy Survey is a survey designed to help scientists understand dark energy, a mysterious substance that scientists have never seen before but is believed to make up 68 percent of the universe and distort our view of other galaxies.
The project captures more than 80,000 sky images, revisiting certain swaths every two weeks. In each image there are tens of thousands of cosmic objects of all shapes and sizes.
“When you take pictures of the sky, you are not only taking pictures of galaxies, you are taking pictures of everything that is between you and them,” Bernardinelli said. Space, Monday (13/9).