Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Rise and shine: the earliest red galaxies in the universe

Our understanding of the early formation of massive galaxies is far from complete. A particular concern is that our knowledge of the redshift z > 3 galaxy population relies to a large degree on biased samples selected using the popular dropout technique, typically consisting of UV-bright Lyman Break galaxies with blue colors and prominent Lyman breaks.

Ivo Labbé
Physical Sciences TOP-Grants for curiosity-driven research, module 2 Physical Sciences TOP-Grants for curiosity-driven research, module 2

It is well possible that important constituents of the early universe, such as red evolved or dusty galaxies, have been overlooked. We propose to search for evolved quiescent galaxies in the earliest universe using a new approach. We developed a new filter and will carry out a large survey, which will allow the secure identification of this important population at redshifts 4.0 < z < 5.5 at only 1.0-1.5 billion years after the Big Bang. Studying this population provides new insights in the mechanisms for star formation shutdown and provide clues to galaxy formation at even higher redshifts."