A cosmological solution to the Impossibly Early Galaxy Problem

Manoj K. Yennapureddy, Fulvio Melia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To understand the formation and evolution of galaxies at redshifts 0≲z≲10, one must invariably introduce specific models (e.g., for the star formation) in order to fully interpret the data. Unfortunately, this tends to render the analysis compliant to the theory and its assumptions, so consensus is still somewhat elusive. Nonetheless, the surprisingly early appearance of massive galaxies challenges the standard model, and the halo mass function estimated from galaxy surveys at z≳4 appears to be inconsistent with the predictions of ΛCDM, giving rise to what has been termed “The Impossibly Early Galaxy Problem” by some workers in the field. A simple resolution to this question may not be forthcoming. The situation with the halos themselves, however, is more straightforward and, in this paper, we use linear perturbation theory to derive the halo mass function over the redshift range 0≲z≲10 for the Rh=ct universe. We use this predicted halo distribution to demonstrate that both its dependence on mass and its very weak dependence on redshift are compatible with the data. The difficulties with ΛCDM may eventually be overcome with refinements to the underlying theory of star formation and galaxy evolution within the halos. For now, however, we demonstrate that the unexpected early formation of structure may also simply be due to an incorrect choice of the cosmology, rather than to yet unknown astrophysical issues associated with the condensation of mass fluctuations and subsequent galaxy formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalPhysics of the Dark Universe
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Cosmological observations
  • Cosmological parameters
  • Cosmological theory
  • Dark energy
  • Galaxies
  • Large-scale structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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