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Media Advisory

For immediate use 

Sept. 9, 2005 -- No. 405

NASA to announce detection of most distant explosion;
UNC astronomy researcher, SOAR are involved

Monday (Sept. 12), 2 p.m. ET

Media representatives are invited to participate in a media teleconference to announce the detection of the most distant explosion yet, a gamma-ray burst from the edge of the visible universe.

Included on the teleconference panel will be Dr. Daniel E. Reichart, assistant professor of physics and astronomy within the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Scientists detected the gamma-ray burst using NASA’s Swift satellite. Several ground-based telescopes, including the international Southern Observatory for Astrophysical Research (SOAR) in Chile, measured the astounding distance as the embers faded.

SOAR, officially dedicated in April 2004, is a public-private partnership among the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the Ministry of Science of Brazil, Michigan State University and UNC. More information on SOAR is available at

Panelists, in addition to Reichart, will be:

Media representatives who wish to participate in the teleconference should call Dolores Beasley at (202) 358-1753 or Erica Hupp at (202) 358-1237. The teleconference will be available live on the Web at:

For more information on Reichart and to download a photo of him, go to:

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NASA contact: Dolores Beasley, (202) 358-1753 or
UNC News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or
UNC College of Arts and Sciences contact: Dee Reid, (919) 843-6339 or