Detection of isolated Population III stars with the James Webb Space Telescope
2013 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 429, no 4, 3658-3664 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The first Population III stars are predicted to form in minihaloes at z approximate to 10-30. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), tentatively scheduled for launch in 2018, will probably be able to detect some of the first galaxies, but whether it will also be able to detect the first stars remains more doubtful. Here, we explore the prospects of detecting an isolated Population III star or a small cluster of Population III stars down to z = 2 in either lensed or unlensed fields. Our calculations are based on realistic stellar atmospheres and take into account the potential flux contribution from the surrounding HII region. We find that unlensed Population III stars are beyond the reach of JWST, and that even lensed Population III stars will be extremely difficult to detect. However, the main problem with the latter approach is not necessarily that the lensed stars are too faint, but that their surface number densities are too low. To detect even one 60 M-circle dot Population III star when pointing JWST through the galaxy cluster MACS J0717.5+3745, the lensing cluster with the largest Einstein radius detected so far, the cosmic star formation rate of Population III stars would need to be approximately an order of magnitude higher than predicted by the most optimistic current models.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 429, no 4, 3658-3664 p.
stars: Population III, dark ages, reionization, first stars
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject Astronomy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90800DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sts653ISI: 000318272600074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-90800DiVA: diva2:627770
FunderSwedish Research Council, 2011-5349