Detection of a Lensed z$\approx$11 Galaxy in the Rest-Optical with Spitzer/IRAC and the Inferred SFR, Stellar Mass, and Physical Size Academic Article uri icon


  • We take advantage of new 100-hour Spitzer/IRAC observations available for MACS0647-JD, a strongly lensed $z\approx11$ galaxy candidate, to provide improved constraints on its physical properties. Probing the physical properties of galaxies at $z>8$ is challenging due to the inherent faintness of such sources and the limited wavelength coverage available. Thanks to the high $\approx$2-6$\times$ lensing magnification of the multiple images of MACS0647-JD, we can use the sensitive Spitzer/IRAC data to probe the rest-frame optical fluxes of MACS0647-JD and investigate its physical properties including the age and the stellar mass. In deriving Spitzer/IRAC fluxes for MACS0647-JD, great care is taken in coping with the impact of three bright ($\approx$8-16 mag) stars in our field to ensure robust results. Assuming a constant star formation rate, the age, stellar mass, and rest-frame UV slope we estimate for MACS0647-JD based on a stack of the photometry are log$_{10}$(age/yr) = 8.6$^{+0.1}_{-2.1}$, log$_{10}$(M$_{*}$/M$_{\odot}$) = 9.1$^{+0.2}_{-1.4}$, and $\beta = -$1.3$\pm$0.6, respectively. We compare our results with expectations from the EAGLE simulation and find that MACS0647-JD has properties consistent with corresponding to the most massive and rapidly star-forming galaxies in the simulation. We also find that its radius, 105$\pm$28 pc, is a factor of $\approx$2 smaller than the mean size in a separate simulation project DRAGONS. Interestingly enough, the observed size is similar to the small sizes seen in very low-luminosity $z\approx$6-10 galaxies behind lensing clusters.

publication date

  • January 1, 2019