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    Nearly a decade ago, we began to see indications that reionization-era galaxies power hard radiation fields rarely seen at lower redshift. Most striking were detections of nebular C iv emission in what appeared to be typical low-mass galaxies, requiring an ample supply of 48 eV photons to triply ionize carbon. We have obtained deep JWST/NIRSpec R = 1000 spectroscopy of the two z > 6 C iv-emitting galaxies known prior to JWST. Here, we present a rest-UV to optical spectrum of one of these two systems, the multiply-imaged z = 6.1 lensed galaxy RXCJ2248-ID. NIRCam imaging reveals two compact (<22 pc) clumps separated by 220 pc, with one comprising a dense concentration of massive stars (>10 400 M⊙ yr−1 kpc−2) formed in a recent burst. We stack spectra of 3 images of the galaxy (J = 24.8–25.9), yielding a very deep spectrum providing a high-S/N template of strong emission line sources at z > 6. The spectrum reveals narrow high-ionization lines (He ii, C iv, N iv]) with line ratios consistent with powering by massive stars. The rest-optical spectrum is dominated by very strong emission lines ([O iii] EW = 2800 Å), albeit with weak emission from low-ionization transitions ([O iii]/[O ii] = 184). The electron density is found to be very high (6.4–31.0 × 104 cm−3) based on three UV transitions. The ionized gas is metal poor ($12+\log (\rm O/H)=7.43^{+0.17}_{-0.09}$), yet highly enriched in nitrogen ($\log (\rm N/O)=-0.39^{+0.11}_{-0.10}$). The spectrum appears broadly similar to that of GNz11 at z = 10.6, without showing the same AGN signatures. We suggest that the hard radiation field and rapid nitrogen enrichment may be a short-lived phase that many z > 6 galaxies go through as they undergo strong bursts of star formation. We comment on the potential link of such spectra to globular cluster formation.

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  2. Abstract

    Dark matter subhalos with extended profiles and density cores, and globular star clusters of mass 106–108Mthat live near the critical curves in galaxy cluster lenses can potentially be detected through their lensing magnification of stars in background galaxies. In this work, we study the effect such subhalos have on lensed images, and compare to the case of more well-studied microlensing by stars and black holes near critical curves. We find that the cluster density gradient and the extended mass distribution of subhalos are important in determining image properties. Both lead to an asymmetry between the image properties on the positive- and negative-parity sides of the cluster that is more pronounced than in the case of microlensing. For example, on the negative-parity side, subhalos with cores larger than about 50 pc do not generate any images with magnification above ∼100 outside of the immediate vicinity of the cluster critical curve. We discuss these factors using analytical and numerical analysis, and exploit them to identify observable signatures of subhalos: Subhalos create pixel-to-pixel flux variations of ≳0.1 mag on the positive-parity side of clusters. These pixels tend to cluster around (otherwise invisible) subhalos. Unlike in the case of microlensing, signatures of subhalo lensing can be found up to 1″ away from the critical curves of massive clusters.

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    We present a new analysis of the rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) and optical spectra of a sample of three z > 8 galaxies discovered behind the gravitational lensing cluster RX J2129.4+0009. We combine these observations with z > 7.5 galaxies from the literature, for which similar measurements are available. As already pointed out in other studies, the high [O iii]λ5007/[O ii]λ3727 ratios (O32) and steep UV continuum slopes (β) are consistent with the values observed for low-redshift Lyman continuum emitters, suggesting that such galaxies contribute to the ionizing budget of the intergalactic medium. We construct a logistic regression model to estimate the probability of a galaxy being a Lyman continuum emitter based on the measured MUV, β, and O32. Using this probability and the UV luminosity function, we construct an empirical model that estimates the contribution of high-redshift galaxies to reionization. The preferred scenario in our analysis shows that at z ∼ 8, the average escape fraction of the galaxy population [i.e. including both LyC emitters (LCEs) and non-emitters] varies with MUV, with intermediate UV luminosity (−19 < MUV < −16) galaxies having larger escape fraction. Galaxies with faint UV luminosity (−16 < MUV < −13.5) contribute most of the ionizing photons. The relative contribution of faint versus bright galaxies depends on redshift, with the intermediate UV galaxies becoming more important over time. UV bright galaxies, although more likely to be LCEs at a given log(O32) and β, contribute the least of the total ionizing photon budget.

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  4. Abstract

    A tight positive correlation between the stellar mass and the gas-phase metallicity of galaxies has been observed at low redshifts. The redshift evolution of this correlation can strongly constrain theories of galaxy evolution. The advent of JWST allows probing the mass–metallicity relation at redshifts far beyond what was previously accessible. Here we report the discovery of two emission line galaxies at redshifts 8.15 and 8.16 in JWST NIRCam imaging and NIRSpec spectroscopy of targets gravitationally lensed by the cluster RX J2129.4+0005. We measure their metallicities and stellar masses along with nine additional galaxies at 7.2 <zspec< 9.5 to report the first quantitative statistical inference of the mass–metallicity relation atz≈ 8. We measure ∼0.9 dex evolution in the normalization of the mass–metallicity relation fromz≈ 8 to the local universe; at a fixed stellar mass, galaxies are 8 times less metal enriched atz≈ 8 compared to the present day. Our inferred normalization is in agreement with the predictions of FIRE simulations. Our inferred slope of the mass–metallicity relation is similar to or slightly shallower than that predicted by FIRE or observed at lower redshifts. We compare thez≈ 8 galaxies to extremely low-metallicity analog candidates in the local universe, finding that they are generally distinct from extreme emission line galaxies or “green peas,” but are similar in strong emission line ratios and metallicities to “blueberry galaxies.” Despite this similarity, at a fixed stellar mass, thez≈ 8 galaxies have systematically lower metallicities compared to blueberry galaxies.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 25, 2024
  5. In this work, we present a constraint on the abundance of supergiant (SG) stars at redshiftz ≈ 1, based on recent observations of a strongly lensed arc at this redshift. First we derived a free-form model of MACS J0416.1-2403 using data from the Beyond Ultra-deep Frontier Fields and Legacy Observations (BUFFALO) program. The new lens model is based on 72 multiply lensed galaxies that produce 214 multiple images, making it the largest sample of spectroscopically confirmed lensed galaxies on this cluster. The larger coverage in BUFFALO allowed us to measure the shear up to the outskirts of the cluster, and extend the range of lensing constraints up to ∼1 Mpc from the central region, providing a mass estimate up to this radius. As an application, we make predictions for the number of high-redshift multiply lensed galaxies detected in future observations with theJames WebbSpace Telescope (JWST). Then we focus on a previously known lensed galaxy atz = 1.0054, nicknamed Spock, which contains four previously reported transients. We interpret these transients as microcaustic crossings of SG stars and explain how we computed the probability of such events. Based on simplifications regarding the stellar evolution, we find that microlensing (by stars in the intracluster medium) of SG stars atz = 1.0054 can fully explain these events. The inferred abundance of SG stars is consistent with either (1) a number density of stars with bolometric luminosities beyond the Humphreys-Davidson (HD) limit (Lmax ≈ 6 × 105Lfor red stars), which is below ∼400 stars kpc−2, or (2) the absence of stars beyond the HD limit but with a SG number density of ∼9000 kpc−2for stars with luminosities between 105Land 6 × 105L. This is equivalent to one SG star per 10 × 10 pc2. Finally, we make predictions for future observations with JWST’s NIRcam. We find that in observations made with theF200Wfilter that reach 29 mag AB, if cool red SG stars exist atz ≈ 1 beyond the HD limit, they should be easily detected in this arc.

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

    With its unprecedented sensitivity and spatial resolution, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has opened a new window for time-domain discoveries in the infrared. Here we report observations in the only field that has received four epochs (spanning 126 days) of JWST NIRCam observations in Cycle 1. This field is toward MACS J0416.1−2403, which is a rich galaxy cluster at redshiftz= 0.4 and is one of the Hubble Frontier Fields. We have discovered 14 transients from these data. Twelve of these transients happened in three galaxies (withz= 0.94, 1.01, and 2.091) crossing a lensing caustic of the cluster, and these transients are highly magnified by gravitational lensing. These 12 transients are likely of a similar nature to those previously reported based on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data in this field, i.e., individual stars in the highly magnified arcs. However, these 12 could not have been found by HST because they were too red and too faint. The other two transients are associated with background galaxies (z= 2.205 and 0.7093) that are only moderately magnified, and they are likely supernovae. They indicate a demagnified supernova surface density, when monitored at a time cadence of a few months to a ∼3–4μm survey limit of AB ∼28.5 mag, of ∼0.5 arcmin−2integrated toz≈ 2. This survey depth is beyond the capability of HST but can be easily reached by JWST.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 22, 2024

    The first deep-field observations of the JWST have immediately yielded a surprisingly large number of very high redshift candidates, pushing the frontier of observability well beyond z ≳ 10. We here present a detailed SED-fitting analysis of the 10 gravitationally lensed z ∼ 9–16 galaxy candidates detected behind the galaxy cluster SMACS J0723.3−7327 in a previous paper using the BEAGLE tool. Our analysis makes use of dynamical considerations to place limits on the ages of these galaxies and of all three published SL models of the cluster to account for lensing systematics. We find the majority of these galaxies to have relatively low stellar masses $M_{\star }\sim 10^7-10^8\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ and young ages tage ∼ 10–100 Myr but with a few higher mass exceptions ($M_{\star }\sim 10^9\rm{-}10^{10}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$) due to Balmer-break detections at z ∼ 9–10. Because of their very blue UV-slopes, down to β ∼ −3, all of the galaxies in our sample have extremely low dust attenuations AV ≲ 0.02. Placing the measured parameters into relation, we find a very shallow M⋆ − MUV-slope and high sSFRs above the main sequence of star formation with no significant redshift-evolution in either relation. This is in agreement with the bright UV luminosities measured for these objects and indicates that we are naturally selecting UV-bright galaxies that are undergoing intense star formation at the time they are observed. Finally, we discuss the robustness of our high-redshift galaxy sample regarding low-redshift interlopers and conclude that low-redshift solutions can safely be ruled out for roughly half of the sample, including the highest redshift galaxies at z ∼ 12–16. These objects represent compelling targets for spectroscopic follow-up observations with JWST and ALMA.

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    A new window to observing individual stars and other small sources at cosmological distances was opened recently, with the detection of several caustic-crossing events in galaxy cluster fields. Many more such events are expected soon from dedicated campaigns with the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. These events can not only teach us about the lensed sources themselves, such as individual high-redshift stars, star clusters, or accretion discs, but through their light curves they also hold information about the point-mass function of the lens, and thus, potentially, the composition of dark matter. We present here a simple method for simulating light curves of such events, i.e. the change in apparent magnitude of the source as it sweeps over the net of caustics generated by microlenses embedded around the critical region of the lens. The method is recursive and so any reasonably sized small source can be accommodated, down to sub-solar scales, in principle. We compare the method, which we dub Adaptive Boundary Method, with other common methods such as simple inverse ray shooting, and demonstrate that it is significantly more efficient and accurate in the small-source and high-magnification regime of interest. A python version of the code is made publicly available in an open-source fashion for simulating future events.

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  9. Abstract

    We present results of [Cii] 158μm emission line observations, and report the spectroscopic redshift confirmation of a strongly lensed (μ∼ 20) star-forming galaxy, MACS0308-zD1 atz= 6.2078 ± 0.0002. The [Cii] emission line is detected with a signal-to-noise ratio >6 within the rest-frame UV-bright clump of the lensed galaxy (zD1.1) and exhibits multiple velocity components; the narrow [Cii] has a velocity full width half maximum (FWHM) of 110 ± 20 km s−1, while broader [Cii] is seen with an FWHM of 230 ± 50 km s−1. The broader [Cii] component is blueshifted (−80 ± 20 km s−1) with respect to the narrow [Cii] component, and has a morphology that extends beyond the UV-bright clump. We find that, while the narrow [Cii] emission is most likely associated with zD1.1, the broader component is possibly associated with a physically distinct gas component from zD1.1 (e.g., outflowing or inflowing gas). Based on the nondetection ofλ158μmdust continuum, we find that MACS0308-zD1's star formation activity occurs in a dust-free environment indicated by a strong upper limit of infrared luminosity ≲9 × 108L. Targeting this strongly lensed faint galaxy for follow-up Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and JWST observations will be crucial to characterize the details of typical galaxy growth in the early Universe.

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