First light and reionization epoch simulations (FLARES) V: the redshift frontier

Stephen M. Wilkins, Aswin P. Vijayan, Christopher C. Lovell, William J. Roper, Dimitrios Irodotou, Joseph Caruana, Louise T. C. Seeyave, Jussi K. Kuusisto, Peter A. Thomas, Shedeur A. K. Parris

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JWST is set to transform many areas of astronomy, one of the most exciting is the expansion of the redshift frontier to z > 10. In its first year, alone JWST should discover hundreds of galaxies, dwarfing the handful currently known. To prepare for these powerful observational constraints, we use the First Light And Reionization Epoch simulations (FLARES) to predict the physical and observational properties of the z > 10 population of galaxies accessible to JWST. This is the first time such predictions have been made using a hydrodynamical model validated at low redshift. Our predictions at z = 10 are broadly in agreement with current observational constraints on the far-UV luminosity function and UV continuum slope β, though the observational uncertainties are large. We note tension with recent constraints z ∼ 13 from Harikane et al. (2021) – compared to these constraints, FLARES predicts objects with the same space density should have an order-of-magnitude lower luminosity, though this is mitigated slightly if dust attenuation is negligible in these systems. Our predictions suggest that in JWST’s first cycle alone, around 600 galaxies should be identified at z > 10, with the first small samples available at z > 13.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3118-3128
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date17 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • astro-ph.GA
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: general
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: photometry
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/K00042X/1
  • ST/P002293/1
  • ST/R002371/1
  • ST/S002502/1
  • ST/R000832/1

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