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  1. Abstract

    By combining the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)/NIRCam JADES and CEERS extragalactic data sets, we have uncovered a sample of 21 T and Y brown dwarf candidates at best-fit distances between 0.1 and 4.2 kpc. These sources were selected by targeting the blue 1–2.5μm colors and red 3–4.5μm colors that arise from molecular absorption in the atmospheres ofTeff< 1300 K brown dwarfs. We fit these sources using multiple models of substellar atmospheres and present the resulting fluxes, sizes, effective temperatures, and other derived properties for the sample. If confirmed, these fits place the majority of the sources in the Milky Way thick disk and halo. We observe proper motions for seven of the candidate brown dwarfs, with directions in agreement with the plane of our Galaxy, providing evidence that they are not extragalactic in nature. We demonstrate how the colors of these sources differ from selected high-redshift galaxies, and explore the selection of these sources in planned large-area JWST NIRCam surveys. Deep imaging with JWST/NIRCam presents an an excellent opportunity for finding and understanding these ultracool dwarfs at kiloparsec distances.

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    The power-law slope of the rest-ultraviolet (UV) continuum (fλ ∝ λβ) is a key metric of early star-forming galaxies, providing one of our only windows into the stellar populations and physical conditions of z ≳ 10 galaxies. Expanding upon previous studies with limited sample sizes, we leverage deep imaging from the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) to investigate the UV slopes of 179 z ≳ 9 galaxies with apparent magnitudes of mF200W ≃ 26–31, which display a median UV slope of β = −2.4. We compare to a statistical sample of z ≃ 5–9 galaxies, finding a shift towards bluer rest-UV colours at all $M_{\rm UV}$. The most UV-luminous z ≳ 9 galaxies are significantly bluer than their lower redshift counterparts, representing a dearth of moderately red galaxies within the first 500 Myr. At yet earlier times, the z ≳ 11 galaxy population exhibits very blue UV slopes, implying very low impact from dust attenuation. We identify a robust sample of 44 galaxies with β ≲ −2.8, which have spectral energy distributions requiring models of density-bounded H ii regions and median ionizing photon escape fractions of 0.51 to reproduce. Their rest-optical colours imply that this sample has weaker emission lines (median mF356W − mF444W = 0.19 mag) than typical galaxies (median mF356W − mF444W = 0.39 mag), consistent with the inferred escape fractions. This sample consists of relatively low stellar masses (median $\log (M/{\rm M}_{\odot })=7.5\pm 0.2$), and specific star formation rates (sSFRs; median $=79 \, \rm Gyr^{-1}$) nearly twice that of our full galaxy sample (median sSFRs $=44 \, \rm Gyr^{-1}$), suggesting these objects are more common among systems experiencing a recent upturn in star formation. We demonstrate that the shutoff of star formation provides an alternative solution for modelling of extremely blue UV colours, making distinct predictions for the rest-optical emission of these galaxies. Future spectroscopy will be required to distinguish between these physical pictures.

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  3. We present ten novel [OIII]λ4363 auroral line detections up toz ∼ 9.5 measured from ultra-deep JWST/NIRSpec MSA spectroscopy from the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES). We leverage the deepest spectroscopic observations taken thus far with NIRSpec to determine electron temperatures and oxygen abundances using the directTemethod. We directly compare these results against a suite of locally calibrated strong-line diagnostics and recent high-zcalibrations. We find the calibrations fail to simultaneously match our JADES sample, thus warranting a self-consistent revision of these calibrations for the high-zUniverse. We find a weak dependence between R2 and O3O2 with metallicity, thus suggesting these line ratios are inefficient in the high-zUniverse as metallicity diagnostics and degeneracy breakers. We find R3 and R23 are still correlated with metallicity, but we find a tentative flattening of these diagnostics, thus suggesting future difficulties when applying these strong line ratios as metallicity indicators in the high-zUniverse. We also propose and test an alternative diagnostic based on a different combination of R3 and R2 with a higher dynamic range. We find a reasonably good agreement (median offset of 0.002 dex, median absolute offset of 0.13 dex) with the JWST sample at low metallicity, but future investigations are required on larger samples to probe past the turnover point. At a given metallicity, our sample demonstrates higher ionization and excitation ratios than local galaxies with rest-frame EWs(Hβ) ≈200 − 300 Å. However, we find the median rest-frame EWs(Hβ) of our sample to be ∼2× less than the galaxies used for the local calibrations. This EW discrepancy combined with the high ionization of our galaxies does not offer a clear description of [OIII]λ4363 production in the high-zUniverse, thus warranting a much deeper examination into the factors influencing these processes.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  4. Abstract

    The James Webb Space Telescope is revealing a new population of dust-reddened broad-line active galactic nuclei (AGN) at redshiftsz≳ 5. Here we present deep NIRSpec/Prism spectroscopy from the Cycle 1 Treasury program Ultradeep NIRSpec and NIRCam ObserVations before the Epoch of Reionization (UNCOVER) of 15 AGN candidates selected to be compact, with red continua in the rest-frame optical but with blue slopes in the UV. From NIRCam photometry alone, they could have been dominated by dusty star formation or an AGN. Here we show that the majority of the compact red sources in UNCOVER are dust-reddened AGN: 60% show definitive evidence for broad-line Hαwith a FWHM > 2000 km s−1, 20% of the current data are inconclusive, and 20% are brown dwarf stars. We propose an updated photometric criterion to select redz> 5 AGN that excludes brown dwarfs and is expected to yield >80% AGN. Remarkably, among allzphot> 5 galaxies with F277W – F444W > 1 in UNCOVER at least 33% are AGN regardless of compactness, climbing to at least 80% AGN for sources with F277W – F444W > 1.6. The confirmed AGN have black hole masses of 107–109M. While their UV luminosities (−16 >MUV> −20 AB mag) are low compared to UV-selected AGN at these epochs, consistent with percent-level scattered AGN light or low levels of unobscured star formation, the inferred bolometric luminosities are typical of 107–109Mblack holes radiating at ∼10%–40% the Eddington limit. The number densities are surprisingly high at ∼10−5Mpc−3mag−1, 100 times more common than the faintest UV-selected quasars, while accounting for ∼1% of the UV-selected galaxies. While their UV faintness suggests they may not contribute strongly to reionization, their ubiquity poses challenges to models of black hole growth.

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    We present the results of a search for high-redshift (z > 9) galaxy candidates in the JWST UNCOVER survey, using deep NIRCam and NIRISS imaging in seven bands over ∼45 arcmin2 and ancillary Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations. The NIRCam observations reach a 5σ limiting magnitude of ∼29.2 AB. The identification of high-z candidates relies on a combination of a dropout selection and photometric redshifts. We find 16 candidates at 9 < z < 12 and three candidates at 12 < z < 13, eight candidates are deemed very robust. Their lensing amplification ranges from μ = 1.2 to 11.5. Candidates have a wide range of (lensing corrected) luminosities and young ages, with low stellar masses [6.8 < log(M⋆/M⊙) < 9.5] and low star formation rates (SFR = 0.2–7 M⊙ yr−1), confirming previous findings in early JWST observations of z > 9. A few galaxies at z ∼ 9−10 appear to show a clear Balmer break between the F356W and F444W/F410M bands, which helps constrain their stellar mass. We estimate blue UV continuum slopes between β = −1.8 and −2.3, typical for early galaxies at z > 9 but not as extreme as the bluest recently discovered sources. We also find evidence for a rapid redshift-evolution of the mass-luminosity relation and a redshift evolution of the UV continuum slope for a given range of intrinsic magnitude, in line with theoretical predictions. These findings suggest that deeper JWST observations are needed to reach the fainter galaxy population at those early epochs, and follow-up spectroscopy will help better constrain the physical properties and star formation histories of a larger sample of galaxies.

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  6. Abstract

    We explore how the presence of detectable molecular gas depends on the inferred star formation histories (SFHs) in eight massive, quiescent galaxies atz∼ 0.7. Half of the sample have clear detections of molecular gas, traced by CO(2–1). We find that the molecular gas content is unrelated to the rate of star formation decline prior to the most recent 1 Gyr, suggesting that the gas reservoirs are not left over from their primary star formation epoch. However, the recent SFHs of CO-detected galaxies demonstrate evidence for secondary bursts of star formation in their last Gyr. The fraction of stellar mass formed in these secondary bursts ranges fromfburst≈ 0.3%–6% and ended betweentend-burst≈ 0–330 Myr ago. The CO-detected galaxies form a higher fraction of mass in the last Gyr (fM1Gyr=2.6%±1.8%) compared to the CO-undetected galaxies (fM1Gyr=0.2%±0.1%). The galaxies with gas reservoirs have enhanced late-time star formation, highlighting this as a contributing factor to the observed heterogeneity in the gas reservoirs in high-redshift quiescent galaxies. We find that the amount of gas and star formation driven by these secondary bursts are inconsistent with that expected from dry minor mergers, and instead are likely driven by recently accreted gas, i.e., gas-rich minor mergers. This conclusion would not have been made based on SFRUV+IRmeasurements alone, highlighting the power of detailed SFH modeling in the interpretation of gas reservoirs. Larger samples are needed to understand the frequency of low-level rejuvenation among quiescent galaxies at intermediate redshifts, and to what extent this drives the diversity of molecular gas reservoirs.

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  7. Abstract

    We present a catalog of 717 candidate galaxies atz> 8 selected from 125 square arcmin of NIRCam imaging as part of the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES). We combine the full JADES imaging data set with data from the JWST Extragalactic Medium Survey and First Reionization Epoch Spectroscopic COmplete Survey (FRESCO) along with extremely deep existing observations from Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) for a final filter set that includes 15 JWST/NIRCam filters and five HST/ACS filters. The high-redshift galaxy candidates were selected from their estimated photometric redshifts calculated using a template-fitting approach, followed by visual inspection from seven independent reviewers. We explore these candidates in detail, highlighting interesting resolved or extended sources, sources with very red long-wavelength slopes, and our highest-redshift candidates, which extend tozphot∼ 18. Over 93% of the sources are newly identified from our deep JADES imaging, including 31 new galaxy candidates atzphot> 12. We also investigate potential contamination by stellar objects, and do not find strong evidence from spectral energy distribution fitting that these faint high-redshift galaxy candidates are low-mass stars. Using 42 sources in our sample with measured spectroscopic redshifts from NIRSpec and FRESCO, we find excellent agreement to our photometric redshift estimates, with no catastrophic outliers and an average difference of 〈Δz=zphotzspec〉 = 0.26. These sources comprise one of the most robust samples for probing the early buildup of galaxies within the first few hundred million years of the Universe’s history.

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  8. Abstract

    In 2022 November, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) returned deep near-infrared images of A2744—a powerful lensing cluster capable of magnifying distant, incipient galaxies beyond it. Together with existing Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging, this publicly available data set opens a fundamentally new discovery space to understand the remaining mysteries of the formation and evolution of galaxies across cosmic time. In this work, we detect and measure some 60,000 objects across the 49 arcmin2JWST footprint down to a 5σlimiting magnitude of ∼30 mag in 0.″32 apertures. Photometry is performed using circular apertures on images matched to the point-spread function (PSF) of the reddest NIRCam broad band, F444W, and cleaned of bright cluster galaxies and the related intracluster light. To give an impression of the photometric performance, we measure photometric redshifts and achieve aσNMAD≈ 0.03 based on known, but relatively small, spectroscopic samples. With this paper, we publicly release our HST and JWST PSF-matched photometric catalog with optimally assigned aperture sizes for easy use, along with single aperture catalogs, photometric redshifts, rest-frame colors, and individual magnification estimates. These catalogs will set the stage for efficient and deep spectroscopic follow up of some of the first JWST-selected samples in summer of 2023.

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  9. Abstract Observations of cold molecular gas reservoirs are critical for understanding the shutdown of star formation in massive galaxies. While dust continuum is an efficient and affordable tracer, this method relies upon the assumption of a “normal” molecular-gas to dust mass ratio, δ GDR , typically of order 100. Recent null detections of quiescent galaxies in deep dust continuum observations support a picture where the cold gas and dust have been rapidly depleted or expelled. In this work, we present another viable explanation: a significant fraction of galaxies with low star formation per unit stellar mass are predicted to have extreme δ GDR ratios. We show that simulated massive quiescent galaxies at 0 < z < 3 in the simba cosmological simulations have δ GDR values that extend >4 orders of magnitude. The dust in most simulated quiescent galaxies is destroyed significantly more rapidly than the molecular gas depletes, and cannot be replenished. The transition from star-forming to quiescent halts dust formation via star formation processes, with dust subsequently destroyed by supernova shocks and thermal sputtering of dust grains embedded in hot plasma. After this point, the dust growth rate in the models is not sufficient to overcome the loss of >3 orders of magnitude in dust mass to return to normal values of δ GDR despite having high metallicity. Our results indicate that it is not straight forward to use a single observational indicator to robustly preselect exotic versus normal ratios. These simulations make strong predictions that can be tested with millimeter facilities. 
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