Observational constraints on galaxy properties in the first four billion years
Identifying the first galaxies that formed, their ubiquity and basic properties (such as masses and star formation rates) remains one of the key challenges for observational astrophysics in the next decade. The galaxies were likely to be responsible for the bulk of the ionising radiation that resulted in the reionisation around redshift z~8–10 and so studying their basic properties has defined many of the science drivers for the construction of the next generation ground- and space-based telescopes (e.g., James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and E-ELT).
|MUSE BV(I+Ly-alpha) colour image of the cluster core of RCS 0224 at z=0.9 generated from a ~6hr observation with VLT. The highly amplified, giant red arc at z=4.9 can clearly be seen, but we also identify a number of lensed Ly-alpha emitters between z=4.8--6.6 (Ly-alpha images of ten of these are shown in the outer panels). Most of these emitters do not have continuum counterparts in the HST imaging to an unlensed limit of mi=29.5 (see also Bacon et al. 2015).|
Our programme exploits gravitational lensing by massive galaxy clusters to spectroscopically identify and study star-forming galaxies seen through massive clusters, as they emerge from reionisation and then measure the dynamics of lensed star-forming galaxies at z~3--5 to study the growth of their disks, as well as measuring the properties of the star-forming clumps within the ISM in these structures on scales approaching ~100pc. This observational program exploits observations with the Hubble Space Telescope, multi-IFU KMOS and MUSE integral field spectrographs, and ALMA.
Contact DetailsCentre for Extragalactic Astronomy,
Ogden Centre for Fundament Physics - West,
Department of Physics,
Durham DH1 3LE
Tel: 44 (0)191 3343635