Brian Welch

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Brian Welch
Born 1995
Occupation astronomer
Known for led the team that announced the most ancient and most distant star

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.[1]

In June, 2021, Welch published an article in the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, announcing the observation of several small, dense globular clusters, within the galaxy.[2]

Meanwhile Welch had found, in 2018, an object now known as Earendel.[1] Welch co-ordinated an international team of Astronomers, who confirmed that Earendel 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.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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.”
  2. B. Welch. Relics: Parsec-Scale Star Clusters In The First Billion Years, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society. Retrieved on 2022-03-30. mirror
  3. Welch, Brian, et al. (2022-03-30). "A highly magnified star at redshift 6.2". Nature 603: 815-818. DOI:10.1038/s41586-022-04449-y. Retrieved on 2022-03-30. Research Blogging.