Young Galaxy Candidates in the Hubble Frontier Fields. IV. MACS J1149.5+2223 Academic Article uri icon


  • We search for high-redshift dropout galaxies behind the Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223, a powerful cosmic lens that has revealed a number of unique objects in its field. Using the deep images from the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, we find 11 galaxies at z > 7 in the MACS J1149.5+2223 cluster field, and 11 in its parallel field. The high-redshift nature of the bright z ≃ 9.6 galaxy MACS1149-JD, previously reported by Zheng et al., is further supported by non-detection in the extremely deep optical images from the HFF campaign. With the new photometry, the best photometric redshift solution for MACS1149-JD reduces slightly to z = 9.44 ± 0.12. The young galaxy has an estimated stellar mass of (7 ± 2) x 10^8 M_☉, and was formed at z = 13.2_(-1.6)^(+1.9) when the universe was ≈300 Myr old. Data available for the first four HFF clusters have already enabled us to find faint galaxies to an intrinsic magnitude of M_(UV) ≃ -15.5, approximately a factor of 10 deeper than the parallel fields.

publication date

  • February 22, 2017