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The First Galaxies

By Volker Bromm and Naoki Yoshida

Abstract

We review our current understanding of how the first galaxies formed at the end of the cosmic dark ages, a few 100 million years after the Big Bang. Modern large telescopes discovered galaxies at redshifts greater than seven, whereas theoretical studies have just reached the degree of sophistication necessary to make meaningful predictions. A crucial ingredient is the feedback exerted by the first generation of stars, through UV radiation, supernova blast waves, and chemical enrichment. The key goal is to derive the signature of the first galaxies to be observed with upcoming or planned next-generation facilities, such as the James Webb Space Telescope or Atacama Large Millimeter Array. From the observational side, ongoing deep-field searches for very high-redshift galaxies begin to provide us with empirical constraints on the nature of the first galaxies.Comment: 75 pages, 14 figures, draft version for 2011 Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysic

Topics: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1146/annurev-astro-081710-102608
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1102.4638
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