The First Galaxies: Assembly Of Disks And Prospects For Direct Detection




Pawlik, Andreas H.
Milosavljevic, Milos
Bromm, Volker

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will enable observations of galaxies at redshifts z greater than or similar to 10 and hence allow us to test our current understanding of structure formation at very early times. Previous work has shown that the very first galaxies inside halos with virial temperatures T-vir less than or similar to 10(4) K and masses M-vir less than or similar to 10(8) M circle dot at z greater than or similar to 10 are probably too faint, by at least one order of magnitude, to be detected even in deep exposures with JWST. The light collected with JWST may therefore be dominated by radiation from galaxies inside 10 times more massive halos. We use cosmological zoomed smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations to investigate the assembly of such galaxies and assess their observability with JWST. We compare two simulations that are identical except for the inclusion of non-equilibrium H/D chemistry and radiative cooling by molecular hydrogen. In both simulations a large fraction of the halo gas settles in two nested, extended gas disks which surround a compact massive gas core. The presence of molecular hydrogen allows the disk gas to reach low temperatures and to develop marked spiral structure but does not qualitatively change its stability against fragmentation. We post-process the simulated galaxies by combining idealized models for star formation with stellar population synthesis models to estimate the luminosities in nebular recombination lines as well as in the ultraviolet continuum. We demonstrate that JWST will be able to constrain the nature of the stellar populations in galaxies such as simulated here based on the detection of the He1640 recombination line. Extrapolation of our results to halos with masses both lower and higher than those simulated shows that JWST may find up to a thousand star-bursting galaxies in future deep exposures of the z greater than or similar to 10 universe.



LCSH Subject Headings


Pawlik, Andreas H., Miloレ Milosavljevi?, and Volker Bromm. "The first galaxies: assembly of disks and prospects for direct detection." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 731, No. 1 (Apr., 2011): 54.