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Probing the z > 6 universe with the first Hubble Frontier Fields cluster A2744.

Atek, H. and Richard, J. and Kneib, J.-P. and Clément, B. and Egami, E. and Ebeling, H. and Jauzac, M. and Jullo, E. and Laporte, N. and Limousin, M. and Natarajan, P. (2014) 'Probing the z > 6 universe with the first Hubble Frontier Fields cluster A2744.', Astrophysical journal., 786 (1). p. 60.

Abstract

The Hubble Frontier Fields program combines the capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) with the gravitational lensing of massive galaxy clusters to probe the distant universe to an unprecedented depth. Here, we present the results of the first combined HST and Spitzer observations of the cluster A-2744. We combine the full near-infrared data with ancillary optical images to search for gravitationally lensed high-redshift (z gsim 6) galaxies. We report the detection of 15 I 814 dropout candidates at z ~ 6-7 and one Y 105 dropout at z ~ 8 in a total survey area of 1.43 arcmin2 in the source plane. The predictions of our lens model also allow us to identify five multiply imaged systems lying at redshifts between z ~ 6 and z ~ 8. Thanks to constraints from the mass distribution in the cluster, we were able to estimate the effective survey volume corrected for completeness and magnification effects. This was in turn used to estimate the rest-frame ultraviolet luminosity function (LF) at z ~ 6-8. Our LF results are generally in agreement with the most recent blank field estimates, confirming the feasibility of surveys through lensing clusters. Although based on a shallower observations than what will be achieved in the final data set including the full Advanced Camera for Survey observations, the LF presented here goes down to M UV ~–18.5, corresponding to 0.2L sstarf at z ~ 7 with one identified object at M UV ~–15 thanks to the highly magnified survey areas. This early study forecasts the power of using massive galaxy clusters as cosmic telescopes and its complementarity to blank fields.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Galaxies: high-redshift, Gravitational lensing: strong, Surveys.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/786/1/60
Publisher statement:© 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:13 March 2014
Date deposited:05 November 2015
Date of first online publication:16 April 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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