Pedro Bernardinelli

Postdoctoral Scholar, DiRAC


My Ph.D research at University of Pennsylvania was focused on the development and application of new techniques for the discovery and characterization of the most distant bodies in our Solar System, called trans-Neptunian objects, as part of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). At University of Washington, I plan to expand this research to current surveys, as well as upcoming projects such as the Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST).

Discovering these trans-Neptunian objects is inherently a computationally expensive task, requiring these bodies to be tracked across multiple telescope images during several years of observations, as these move against the background of stars in the night sky. My research focuses on the development of computationally efficient and effective algorithms to enable such discoveries. I am also interested in the relationship between models of formation of the Solar System and the population of trans-Neptunian bodies, and I plan to carry studies of photometric colors as well as comparisons of theoretical populations to observed data.