Brian Welch

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Brian Welch is a PhD student, studying Astronomy, at John Hopkins University.[1] His thesis supervisor, Dan Coe, discovered a very distant galaxy, called The Sunrise Arc, in 2016. That Galaxy was only found because the gravity of a supercluster of galaxies that lie between us and The Sunrise Arc magnified its light, through Gravitational lensing.

Coe assigned Welch the task of examining promising objects within The Sunrise Arc, and he found an object now known as Earendil.[1] Welch co-ordinated an international team of Astronomers, who confirmed that Earendil seemed to be a very distant early star. Welch was the lead author of a paper in the prestigious Science journal Nature, announcing the discovery, on March 30, 2022.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Joel Achenbach. Hubble telescope detects most distant star ever seen, near cosmic dawn, Washington Post, 2022-03-30. Retrieved on 2022-03-30. “Earendel is part of an early, small galaxy whose light has been magnified and distorted in two curved strips as a result of such lensing. Astronomer Dan Coe of Johns Hopkins discovered and named the Sunrise Arc in 2016 as part of a Hubble observation program. Welch, Coe’s student, scrutinized a tiny speck — some kind of object — providentially located on the arc where the magnification was highest. Over the course of 3½ years, the object remained in that spot.”
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