The Cosmos in its Infancy: JADES Galaxy Candidates at z > 8 in GOODS-S and GOODS-N

Kevin N. Hainline, Benjamin D. Johnson, Brant Robertson, Sandro Tacchella, Jakob M. Helton, Fengwu Sun, Daniel J. Eisenstein, Charlotte Simmonds, Michael W. Topping, Lily Whitler, Christopher N. A. Willmer, Marcia Rieke, Katherine A. Suess, Raphael E. Hviding, Alex J. Cameron, Stacey Alberts, William M. Baker, Rachana Bhatawdekar, Kristan Boyett, Andrew J. BunkerStefano Carniani, Stephane Charlot, Zuyi Chen, Mirko Curti, Emma Curtis-Lake, Francesco D'Eugenio, Eiichi Egami, Ryan Endsley, Ryan Hausen, Zhiyuan Ji, Tobias J. Looser, Jianwei Lyu, Roberto Maiolino, Erica Nelson, David Puskas, Tim Rawle, Lester Sandles, Aayush Saxena, Renske Smit, Daniel P. Stark, Christina C. Williams, Chris Willott, Joris Witstok

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We present a catalog of 717 candidate galaxies at z > 8 selected from 125 square arcmin of NIRCam imaging as part of the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES). We combine the full JADES imaging data set with data from the JWST Extragalactic Medium Survey and First Reionization Epoch Spectroscopic COmplete Survey (FRESCO) along with extremely deep existing observations from Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) for a final filter set that includes 15 JWST/NIRCam filters and five HST/ACS filters. The high-redshift galaxy candidates were selected from their estimated photometric redshifts calculated using a template-fitting approach, followed by visual inspection from seven independent reviewers. We explore these candidates in detail, highlighting interesting resolved or extended sources, sources with very red long-wavelength slopes, and our highest-redshift candidates, which extend to z phot ∼ 18. Over 93% of the sources are newly identified from our deep JADES imaging, including 31 new galaxy candidates at z phot > 12. We also investigate potential contamination by stellar objects, and do not find strong evidence from spectral energy distribution fitting that these faint high-redshift galaxy candidates are low-mass stars. Using 42 sources in our sample with measured spectroscopic redshifts from NIRSpec and FRESCO, we find excellent agreement to our photometric redshift estimates, with no catastrophic outliers and an average difference of 〈Δz = z phot − z spec〉 = 0.26. These sources comprise one of the most robust samples for probing the early buildup of galaxies within the first few hundred million years of the Universe’s history.

Original languageEnglish
Article number71
Number of pages35
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2024


  • astro-ph.GA


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