Friday 18 November 2016
to 11:30 at
Pascal Oesch (University of Geneva)
Thanks to the revolutionary capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope we have made enormous progress in our exploration of galaxies across cosmic history over the last two decades. Hubble allowed us to push the observational frontier back to z~10-11, only ~400 Myr after the Big Bang. To date, we have identified ~1000 likely galaxies at z>6, with up to 20 credible candidates at z~9-11, one of which is even spectroscopically confirmed at z~11. These unprecedented samples allow us to directly track the build-up of galaxies in the heart of the cosmic reionization epoch, providing an increasingly more complete picture. For instance, in combination with deep data from the Spitzer Space Telescope we can now even probe the evolution of the stellar mass density over 97% of cosmic history. In this talk I will provide an overview of recent observational progress coming from very deep HST and Spitzer/IRAC observations as well as from ground-based imaging and spectroscopy to study the first generations of galaxies, and I will highlight the exciting possibilities that are just ahead of us based on several major upcoming and planned telescopes.