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Cosmic Reionization and Early Star-Forming Galaxies: A Joint Analysis of New Constraints from Planck and Hubble Space Telescope

Robertson, BE; Ellis, RS; Furlanetto, SR; Dunlop, JS; (2015) Cosmic Reionization and Early Star-Forming Galaxies: A Joint Analysis of New Constraints from Planck and Hubble Space Telescope. The Astrophysical Journal Letters , 802 (2) 10.1088/2041-8205/802/2/L19. Green open access

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Abstract

We discuss new constraints on the epoch of cosmic reionization and test the assumption that most of the ionizing photons responsible arose from high redshift star-forming galaxies. Good progress has been made in charting the end of reionization through spectroscopic studies of z~6-8 QSOs, gamma-ray bursts and galaxies expected to host Lyman-alpha emission. However, the most stringent constraints on its duration have come from the integrated optical depth, tau, of Thomson scattering to the cosmic microwave background. Using the latest data on the abundance and luminosity distribution of distant galaxies from Hubble Space Telescope imaging, we simultaneously match the reduced value tau=0.066 +/- 0.012 recently reported by the Planck collaboration and the evolving neutrality of the intergalactic medium with a reionization history within 6 <~ z <~ 10, thereby reducing the requirement for a significant population of very high redshift (z>>10) galaxies. Our analysis strengthens the conclusion that star-forming galaxies dominated the reionization process and has important implications for upcoming 21cm experiments and searches for early galaxies with James Webb Space Telescope.

Type: Article
Title: Cosmic Reionization and Early Star-Forming Galaxies: A Joint Analysis of New Constraints from Planck and Hubble Space Telescope
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/802/2/L19
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/802/2/L19
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: galaxies: high-redshift
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Physics and Astronomy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040289
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