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Professor Nial Tanvir of the University of Leicester is a professional astronomer who has made important contributions to the extra-galactic distance scale and galaxy evolution. Perhaps most significant is his research in and around Gamma ray bursts. Tanvir has featured in various TV programs, including The Sky at Night hosted by Sir Patrick Moore, which is an astronomically focused TV program, and a BBC Horizon documentary about gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).
In 2002 he was a member of the research group which won the European Union Descartes Prize for their pioneering work on gamma-ray bursts.
Tanvir headed the international team that discovered the infrared afterglow of GRB 090423 (detected 2009 April 23), the most distant event recorded to date. In 2013 he led a team that discovered so-called kilonova emission accompanying GRB 130603B, which provided the first direct evidence that short-duration gamma-ray bursts are created by merging compact sources, either two neutron-stars or a neutron-star and black-hole.