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(English)In: Astrophysical Journal Letters, ISSN 2041-8205Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Supernovae are important probes of the properties of stars at high redshifts because they can be detected at early epochs and their masses can be inferred from their light curves. Finding the first cosmic explosions in the universe will only be possible with the James Webb Space Telescope, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope and the next generation of extremely large telescopes. But strong gravitational lensing by massive clusters, like those in the Cluster Lensing and Supernova Survey with Hubble (CLASH), could reveal such events now by magnifying their flux by factors of 10 or more. We find that CLASH will likely discover at least 2 - 3 core-collapse supernovae at 5 < z < 12 and perhaps as many as ten. Future surveys of cluster lenses similar in scope to CLASH by the James Webb Space Telescope might find hundreds of these events at z < 15 - 17. Besides revealing the masses of early stars, these ancient supernovae could also constrain cosmic star formation rates in the era of first galaxy formation.

Keyword [en]
Astrophysics - Cosmology, Extragalactic Astrophysics
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-110259OAI: diva2:770552
Available from: 2014-12-10 Created: 2014-12-10 Last updated: 2014-12-11
In thesis
1. Gravitational lensing as a probe of the first stars and galaxies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gravitational lensing as a probe of the first stars and galaxies
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the potential for detection and identification of primordial stars, galaxies, and supernovae at high redshift.

Simulations indicate that the first Population III stars should appear in minihalos of mass M = 105-106 Msol at z ≈ 10-30. To assess the detectability of these objects, theoretical models of these stars and their surrounding HII regions are used. We assess the plausibility of detection with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), using the gravitational lensing provided by the galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745. The conclusion is that the detection of these objects is highly improbable but not impossible.

To investigate the prospects of detecting and identifying the first galaxies, the spectral synthesis code Yggdrasil is introduced. According to this code, JWST may be able to detect Population III galaxies with stellar masses as low as 105 Msol at z ≈ 10 in unlensed fields. We find that, over limited redshift intervals, it could be possible to use Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and/or JWST broadband color criteria to single out Population III galaxy candidates.

The prospects of detecting gravitationally lensed Population III galaxies with JWST and HST is investigated. A lower limit to detect ≈1 Population III galaxy of ε ≈ 10-2 (HST/CLASH) and ε ≈ 10-3 (JWST using MACS J0717.5+3745 as lens) is derived, where ε is the baryon fraction converted to Population III stars in a host halo.

By fitting HST/CLASH data to Yggdrasil and comparison grids, two Population III galaxy candidates are discovered. These two candidates are the first Population III galaxy candidates discovered at z > 6.5. A highly-magnified and doubly lensed extremely high-redshift (z ≈ 7.8) object is also identified.

Finally the prospects of detecting core-collapse (CC) supernovae (SN) from the first galaxies at z ≈ 5-12 are investigated. The prediction is that no primordial SN is detectable, but 2-3 CC SN should be discovered by the HST/CLASH.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 2015. 54 p.
stars: Population III, first stars, Galaxies: high-redshift, Galaxies: Population III, dark ages, reionization, techniques: photometric
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-110070 (URN)978-91-7649-068-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-30, FA32, AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Submitted. Paper 6: Submitted. Paper 7: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2014-12-05 Last updated: 2015-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Rydberg, Claes-Erik
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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