Student Colloquium, Lars Borchert: The Hunt for the Earliest Galaxies with JWST
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Supervisor: Maximilian Stritzinger
What is the most distant, earliest forming galaxies? Attempting to answer this question can provide both a wealth of information about the physics of the early universe as well as the simple joy of setting world records (or universe records, in cosmology). Previously, observations using the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed galaxies as far away as a redshift of z=11.1, which corresponds to just 400 million years after the big bang. Astronomers expected to discover galaxies even earlier using the recently launched and now operational James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Only weeks after JWST became fully operational in space, early science release programs such as GLASS-JWST-ESR have allowed researchers to already identify several challengers to the z=11.1 record. This talk will give an overview of the early universe as it relates to galaxy formation, why JWST’s unparalleled capabilities are already producing new discoveries, and what the future of high-redshift galaxy discovery looks like.