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    We use deep imaging from the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) to study the evolution of the ionizing photon production efficiency, ξion. We estimate ξion for a sample of 677 galaxies at z ∼ 4–9 using NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) photometry. Specifically, combinations of the medium and wide bands F335M–F356W and F410M–F444W to constrain emission lines that trace ξion: Hα and [O iii]. Additionally, we use the spectral energy distribution fitting code prospector to fit all available photometry and infer galaxy properties. The flux measurements obtained via photometry are consistent with FRESCO (First Reionisation Epoch Spectroscopic Complete Survey) and NIRSpec-derived fluxes. Moreover, the emission-line-inferred measurements are consistent with the prospector estimates. We also confirm the observed ξion trend with redshift and MUV, and find: log ξion(z, MUV) = (0.05 ± 0.02)z + (0.11 ± 0.02)MUV + (27.33 ± 0.37). We use prospector to investigate correlations of ξion with other galaxy properties. We see a clear correlation between ξion and burstiness in the star formation history of galaxies, given by the ratio of recent to older star formation, where burstiness is more prevalent at lower stellar masses. We also convolve our ξion relations with luminosity functions from the literature, and constant escape fractions of 10 per cent and 20 per cent, to place constraints on the cosmic ionizing photon budget. By combining our results, we find that if our sample is representative of the faint low-mass galaxy population, galaxies with bursty star formation are efficient enough in producing ionizing photons and could be responsible for the reionization of the Universe.

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    We study the ionizing photon production efficiency at the end of the Epoch of Reionization (z ∼ 5.4 − 6.6) for a sample of 30 Ly α emitters. This is a crucial quantity to infer the ionizing photon budget of the universe. These objects were selected to have reliable spectroscopic redshifts, assigned based on the profile of their Ly α emission line, detected in the MUSE deep fields. We exploit medium-band observations from the JWST Extragalactic Medium-band Survey (JEMS) to find the flux excess corresponding to the redshifted Hα emission line. We estimate the ultraviolet (UV) luminosity by fitting the full JEMS photometry, along with several HST photometric points, with Prospector. We find a median UV continuum slope of $\beta = -2.09^{+0.23}_{-0.21}$, indicating young stellar populations with little-to-no dust attenuation. Supported by this, we derive ξion,0 with no dust attenuation and find a median value of log$\frac{\xi _{ion,0}}{\text{Hz erg}^{-1}} = 25.44^{+0.21}_{-0.15}$. If we perform dust attenuation corrections and assume a Calzetti attenuation law, our values are lowered by ∼0.1 dex. Our results suggest Ly α emitters at the Epoch of Reionization have slightly enhanced ξion,0 compared to previous estimations from literature, in particular, when compared to the non-Ly α emitting population. This initial study provides a promising outlook on the characterization of ionizing photon production in the early universe. In the future, a more extensive study will be performed on the entire data set provided by the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES). Thus, for the first time, allowing us to place constraints on the wider galaxy populations driving reionization.

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  3. null (Ed.)
    We present a new prospective analysis of deep multi-band imaging with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In this work, we investigate the recovery of high-redshift 5 <   z  <  12 galaxies through extensive image simulations of accepted JWST programs, including the Early Release Science in the EGS field and the Guaranteed Time Observations in the HUDF. We introduced complete samples of ∼300 000 galaxies with stellar masses of log( M * / M ⊙ ) > 6 and redshifts of 0 <   z  <  15, as well as galactic stars, into realistic mock NIRCam, MIRI, and HST images to properly describe the impact of source blending. We extracted the photometry of the detected sources, as in real images, and estimated the physical properties of galaxies through spectral energy distribution fitting. We find that the photometric redshifts are primarily limited by the availability of blue-band and near-infrared medium-band imaging. The stellar masses and star formation rates are recovered within 0.25 and 0.3 dex, respectively, for galaxies with accurate photometric redshifts. Brown dwarfs contaminating the z  >  5 galaxy samples can be reduced to < 0.01 arcmin −2 with a limited impact on galaxy completeness. We investigate multiple high-redshift galaxy selection techniques and find that the best compromise between completeness and purity at 5 <   z  <  10 using the full redshift posterior probability distributions. In the EGS field, the galaxy completeness remains higher than 50% at magnitudes m UV  <  27.5 and at all redshifts, and the purity is maintained above 80 and 60% at z  ≤ 7 and 10, respectively. The faint-end slope of the galaxy UV luminosity function is recovered with a precision of 0.1–0.25, and the cosmic star formation rate density within 0.1 dex. We argue in favor of additional observing programs covering larger areas to better constrain the bright end. 
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  4. null (Ed.)