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Special Presentations

Galaxy Evolution at the Frontier

Presented by: Larry Bradley (STScI)
Category: Special Interest   Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes   Broadcast date: February 16, 2017
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One of the most exciting frontiers in observational cosmology is the characterization of the evolution of galaxies at early cosmic times. Thanks to several large surveys with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), we have now discovered large samples of z~7-8 galaxies at 600-750 Myr after the Big Bang, in the heart of the reionization epoch. While deep HST and Spitzer Space Telescope images have revolutionized our knowledge of the early universe, searching for and studying high-redshift galaxies remains a challenging enterprise due to their faint luminosities and low volume densities. A complementary and efficient approach is to take advantage of gravitational lensing by massive galaxy clusters. Lensing surveys have played a key role in building up samples of high-redshift galaxies and helped push the observational frontier of galaxies out to z~11 (415 Myr). In this talk, I will discuss results from both approaches and recent progress in understanding the evolution of the UV luminosity function and the cosmic star-formation rate density in the first Gyr of cosmic time. I will also provide a future perspective on how exploring the high-redshift frontier will be transformed in the JWST era and beyond.