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Stellar populations in the highest redshift galaxies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 October 2016

Andrew J. Bunker*
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Denys Wilkinson Building, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, U.K. email: Andy.Bunker@physics.ox.ac.uk
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Abstract

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I discuss stellar populations in galaxies at high redshift (z > 6), in particular the blue rest-frame UV colours which have been detected in recent years through near-IR imaging with HST. These spectral slopes of β < −2 are much more blue than star-forming galaxies at lower redshift, and may suggest less dust obscuration, lower metallicity or perhaps a different initial mass function. I describe current work on the luminosity function of high redshift star- forming galaxies, the evolution of the fraction of strong Lyman-α emitters in this population, and the contribution of the ionizing photon budget from such galaxies towards the reionization of the Universe. I also describe constraints placed by Spitzer/IRAC on stellar populations in galaxies within the first billion years, and look towards future developments in spectroscopy with Extremely Large Telescopes and the James Webb Space Telescope, including the JWST/NIRSpec GTO programme on galaxy evolution at high redshift.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2016 
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