James Webb Space Telescope observations of the first galaxies

Wednesday 18 May 2022 @ 12:00 p.m., Laby Theatre(+Zoom)
Associate Prof. Ivo Labbe, Swinburne University; Email: ilabbe[at]swin.edu.au


The formation of the first galaxies is one of the most exciting and elusive frontiers in astronomy. In only a few months this field is about to be revolutionized when the James Webb Space Telescope starts operations. JWST will deliver ultra-sensitive observations at previously inaccessible infrared wavelengths. Among the many exciting programs in Webb’s first year is the Treasury program UNCOVER which will take ultradeep NIRCam imaging and NIRSpec spectroscopy boosted by the gravitational lensing cluster Frontier Field Abell 2744. I will look ahead and discuss the science goals of this public program, such as finding First Light galaxies during the Dark Ages at z>10 and studying the ultra-low luminosity galaxies at later times that were responsible for reionization. The program will support a broad array of additional science including stellar mass complete studies to z=10, the role of dust obscuration at high redshift, and the various pathways of quenching star formation.