REBELS: an ALMA view of galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization

Online – Liverpool John Moores University

March 25, 2021

Speaker: Renske Smit

In the past decade hundreds of galaxy candidates have been identified in the Epoch of Reionization, selected from their rest-frame UV light. Only a handful of these sources, however, have spectroscopic redshift determinations and we have limited understanding of their physical properties. The ALMA large program REBELS: Reionization Era Bright Emission Lines Survey has been designed to take a major leap in our understanding of these early sources, by collecting the first statistical sample of spectroscopically confirmed galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization. Spectrally scanning 40 sources for [CII]158 or [OIII]88, REBELS is identifying the most massive ISM reservoirs at z>6.5. I will present the motivation, strategy and first results of this ongoing large program. As well as the redshift confirmations, I will show how the identified [CII] lines can be used to probe the low-resolution kinematics of these sources, indicating likely rotation or ongoing merger activity. In parallel to the line detections, we obtain constraints on the dust build-up within these early sources and I will present some of the very distant (U)LIRG candidates found in REBELS. The ALMA observations are complemented by a coordinated effort to constrain the rest-frame UV spectra of these sources with VLT, Keck and MMT. Finally, I will show how state of the simulations - developed within the REBELS team - help to interpret the physical properties of these distant galaxies.


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