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Probing cosmic dawn: Ages and star formation histories of candidate z ≥ 9 galaxies

Laporte, N; Meyer, RA; Ellis, R; Robertson, BE; Chisholm, J; Roberts-Borsani, GW; (2021) Probing cosmic dawn: Ages and star formation histories of candidate z ≥ 9 galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , 505 (3) pp. 3336-3346. 10.1093/mnras/stab1239. Green open access

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Abstract

We discuss the spectral energy distributions and physical properties of six galaxies whose photometric redshifts suggest they lie beyond a redshift z ≃ 9. Each was selected on account of a prominent excess seen in the Spitzer/IRAC 4.5 μm band which, for a redshift above z = 9.0, likely indicates the presence of a rest-frame Balmer break and a stellar component that formed earlier than a redshift z ≃ 10. In addition to constraining the earlier star formation activity on the basis of fits using stellar population models with BAGPIPES, we have undertaken the necessary, but challenging, follow-up spectroscopy for each candidate using various combinations of Keck/MOSFIRE, VLT/X-shooter, Gemini/FLAMINGOS2, and ALMA. Based on either Lyman-α or [O III] 88 μm emission, we determine a convincing redshift of z = 8.78 for GN-z-10-3 and a likely redshift of z = 9.28 for the lensed galaxy MACS0416-JD. For GN-z9-1, we conclude the case remains promising for a source beyond z ≃ 9. Together with earlier spectroscopic data for MACS1149-JD1, our analysis of this enlarged sample provides further support for a cosmic star formation history extending beyond redshifts z ≃ 10. We use our best-fitting stellar population models to reconstruct the past rest-frame UV luminosities of our sources and discuss the implications for tracing earlier progenitors of such systems with the James Webb Space Telescope.

Type: Article
Title: Probing cosmic dawn: Ages and star formation histories of candidate z ≥ 9 galaxies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stab1239
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stab1239
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: galaxies: formation, galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: stellar content
UCL classification: UCL
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/10126340
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