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Galaxies in the first billion years: the z = 6 - 12 Universe
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The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Ultra Deep Field 2012 (UDF12), Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) imaging was completed in late 2012, and provides the deepest ever imaging of the high-redshift Universe. By effectively doubling the depth of the Wide Field Camera 3 near-infrared imaging in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, and providing imaging through an additional filter, these these new data hugely enhance our knowledge of the rest-frame UV properties of galaxies in the crucial redshift range z=7-10. I will present the key results from this programme, including the search for galaxies at z > 8.5, the best determination to date of the evolving galaxy luminosity function at z = 7 – 9, and the first unbiased measurements of the UV continuum slopes of galaxies at z=7 and z = 8. I will also compare these results with the predictions of the latest theoretical models of galaxy formation, and consider the implications for our understanding of cosmic reionization. Finally I will discuss planned deep ALMA mm observations of the HUDF , and briefly consider the prospects for further progress in our understanding of early galaxy formation with the new generation of near-infrared spectrographs, the James Webb Space telescope, and the E-ELT.
This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.
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