Taking Census of Massive, Star-Forming Galaxies formed <1 Gyr After the Big Bang

Caitlin M. Casey, Peter Capak, Johannes Staguhn, Lee Armus, Andrew Blain, Matthieu Bethermin, Jaclyn Champagne, Asantha Cooray, Kristen Coppin, Patrick Drew, Eli Dwek, Steven Finkelstein, Maximilien Franco, James Geach, Jacqueline Hodge, Maciej Koprowski, Claudia Lagos, Desika Narayanan, Alexandra Pope, David SandersIrene Shivaei, Sune Toft, Joaquin Vieira, Fabian Walter, Kate Whitaker, Min Yun, Jorge Zavala

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Two decades of effort have been poured into both single-dish and interferometric millimeter-wave surveys of the sky to infer the volume density of dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs, with SFR>100M⊙ yr−1) over cosmic time. Though obscured galaxies dominate cosmic star-formation near its peak at z∼2, the contribution of such heavily obscured galaxies to cosmic star-formation is unknown beyond z∼2.5 in contrast to the well-studied population of Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) studied through deep, space- and ground-based pencil beam surveys in the near-infrared. Unlocking the volume density of DSFGs beyond z>3, particularly within the first 1 Gyr after the Big Bang is critical to resolving key open questions about early Universe galaxy formation: (1) What is the integrated star-formation rate density of the Universe in the first few Gyr and how is it distributed among low-mass galaxies (e.g. Lyman-break galaxies) and high-mass galaxies (e.g. DSFGs and quasar host galaxies)? (2) How and where do the first massive galaxies assemble? (3) What can the most extreme DSFGs teach us about the mechanisms of dust production (e.g. supernovae, AGB stars, grain growth in the ISM) <1 Gyr after the Big Bang? We summarize the types of observations needed in the next decade to address these questions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number212
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalThe American Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.CO


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