Searching for the sources responsible for cosmic reionization: Probing the redshift range 7 < z <10 and beyond

Daniel P Stark, Richard S. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We review recent observations that suggest that the global star formation rate density of UV-bright galaxies is declining monotonically with redshift over 3 < z < 7 and illustrate the challenges that a continuation of this decline poses in explaining the assembled stellar mass in several z ∼ 6 galaxies deduced from recent Spitzer data. A plausible conclusion is a vigorous period of yet earlier star formation. Prior to JWST and TMT, strong lensing offers a unique probe of the extent of this earlier activity. We discuss the first results of a blind spectroscopic survey of 10 lensing clusters for 8.5 < z < 10 Ly α emitters using NIRSPEC on Keck. We demonstrate this survey is achieving an (unlensed) sensitivity equivalent to a star formation rate of 0.1 M yr-1. A companion survey, now beginning with HST and Spitzer, will target lensed z and J-band drop-outs and probe a ≃ 1 arcmin2 region 1 magnitude deeper than the UDF/NICMOS observations. In combination, both surveys will provide the first constraints on the contribution of early, low luminosity, sources to cosmic reionization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-52
Number of pages7
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Volume50
Issue number1-3 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

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star formation rate
probe
galaxies
early stars
James Webb Space Telescope
probes
stellar mass
star formation
emitters
luminosity
sensitivity
rate

Keywords

  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: high redshift
  • Gravitational lensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Searching for the sources responsible for cosmic reionization : Probing the redshift range 7 < z <10 and beyond. / Stark, Daniel P; Ellis, Richard S.

In: New Astronomy Reviews, Vol. 50, No. 1-3 SPEC. ISS., 03.2006, p. 46-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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