Bright galaxies at Hubble's redshift detection frontier: Preliminary results and design from the redshift z~9-10 BoRG pure-parallel HST survey [GA]

We present the first results and design from the redshift z~9-10 Brightest of the Reionizing Galaxies {\it Hubble Space Telescope} survey BoRG[z9-10], aimed at searching for intrinsically luminous unlensed galaxies during the first 700 Myr after the Big Bang. BoRG[z9-10] is the continuation of a multi-year pure-parallel near-IR and optical imaging campaign with the Wide Field Camera 3. The ongoing survey uses five filters, optimized for detecting the most distant objects and offering continuous wavelength coverage from {\lambda}=0.35{\mu}m to {\lambda}=1.7{\mu}m. We analyze the initial ~130 arcmin$^2$ of area over 28 independent lines of sight (~25% of the total planned) to search for z>7 galaxies using a combination of Lyman break and photometric redshift selections. From an effective comoving volume of (5-25) $times 10^5$ Mpc$^3$ for magnitudes brighter than $m_{AB}=26.5-24.0$ in the $H_{160}$-band respectively, we find five galaxy candidates at z~8.3-10 detected at high confidence (S/N>8), including a source at z~8.4 with mAB=24.5 (S/N~22), which, if confirmed, would be the brightest galaxy identified at such early times (z>8). In addition, BoRG[z9-10] data yield four galaxies with $7.3 \lesssim z \lesssim 8$. These new Lyman break galaxies with m$\lesssim26.5$ are ideal targets for follow-up observations from ground and space based observatories to help investigate the complex interplay between dark matter growth, galaxy assembly, and reionization.

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V. Calvi, M. Trenti, M. Stiavelli, et. al.
Fri, 18 Dec 15

Comments: Accepted for publication on ApJ. 21 pages, 11 figures, 4 tables