A mathematician at the University of Central Missouri has discovered what is now the largest known prime number -- one with more than 17 million digits.
Dr. Curtis Cooper, who has made two other prime number discoveries, has found the 48th known Mersenne prime -- 257,885,161 minus 1. The number is 17,425,170 digits long.
Cooper discovered the number on Jan. 25, according to the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), a 16-year-old project that uses a grid of computers provided by volunteers to find large prime numbers.
If the number was typed out in standard Times Roman 12 point font, it would span more than 30 miles. It also would fill more than six Bibles.