The photometric properties of galaxies in the early Universe

Stephen M. Wilkins, Yu Feng, Tiziana Di-Matteo, Rupert Croft, Elizabeth R. Stanway, Andrew Bunker, Dacen Waters, and Christopher Lovell

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
May 16, 2016

The authors use the large cosmological hydro-dynamic simulation BlueTides to predict the photometric properties of galaxies during the epoch of reionization (z = 8–15). These properties include the rest-frame UV to near-IR broad-band spectral energy distributions, the Lyman continuum (LyC) photon production, the UV star formation rate calibration, and intrinsic UV continuum slope. In particular the authors focus on exploring the effect of various modelling assumptions, including the assumed choice of stellar population synthesis (SPS) model, initial mass function, and the escape fraction of LyC photons, upon these quantities. The authors find that these modelling assumptions can have a dramatic effect on photometric properties leading to consequences for the accurate determination of physical properties from observations. For example, at z = 8 the authors predict that nebular emission can account for up to 50 per cent of the rest-frame R-band luminosity, while the choice of SPS model can change the LyC production rate up to a factor of ×2.

Featured Fellows

Yu Feng

Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics
BIDS Alum – Data Science Fellow