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Star-Forming Galaxies in the First Two Billion Years of the Universe

Rychard Bouwens
Leiden Observatory

Abstract
Over the last few years, enormous progress has been made in the study of galaxies in the first 2 billion years of the universe, thanks to the extraordinary capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope WFC3/IR camera, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and numerous ground-based telescopes. Already, more than 1000 galaxies are known at z>~6, with ~50 credible candidate galaxies at z~9-11. My collaborators and I have confirmed galaxies to redshifts as high as 8.68 with spectroscopy, but new HST-grism observations promise to extend such confirmations to z~10-11. With current data sets, early galaxy build-up is now increasingly understood on many different fronts, including UV luminosities, sizes, UV colors, and even the stellar masses. One surprising development has been the strength of the nebular emission lines in galaxies at z>~4 and ongoing work to utilise these lines as both a redshift and star formation indicator. Over the next few years, major advances in our understanding of the physics guiding early galaxy formation are expected using transformative spectroscopic observations from JWST, ALMA, and ELT-class facilities.

2015 September 17, 14:00

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