CEERS Key Paper. V. Galaxies at 4 < z < 9 Are Bluer than They Appear-Characterizing Galaxy Stellar Populations from Rest-frame ∼1 μm Imaging

Casey Papovich, Justin W. Cole, Guang Yang, Steven L. Finkelstein, Guillermo Barro, Véronique Buat, Denis Burgarella, Pablo G. Pérez-González, Paola Santini, Lise Marie Seillé, Lu Shen, Pablo Arrabal Haro, Micaela B. Bagley, Eric F. Bell, Laura Bisigello, Antonello Calabrò, Caitlin M. Casey, Marco Castellano, Katherine Chworowsky, Nikko J. CleriLuca Costantin, M. C. Cooper, Mark Dickinson, Henry C. Ferguson, Adriano Fontana, Mauro Giavalisco, Andrea Grazian, Norman A. Grogin, Nimish P. Hathi, Benne W. Holwerda, Taylor A. Hutchison, Jeyhan S. Kartaltepe, Lisa J. Kewley, Allison Kirkpatrick, Dale D. Kocevski, Anton M. Koekemoer, Rebecca L. Larson, Arianna S. Long, Ray A. Lucas, Laura Pentericci, Nor Pirzkal, Swara Ravindranath, Rachel S. Somerville, Jonathan R. Trump, Stephanie M. Urbano Stawinski, Benjamin J. Weiner, Stephen M. Wilkins, L. Y. Aaron Yung, Jorge A. Zavala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We present results from the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Survey on the stellar population parameters for 28 galaxies with redshifts 4 < z < 9 using imaging data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) combined with data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The JWST/MIRI 5.6 and 7.7 μm data extend the coverage of the rest-frame spectral energy distribution to nearly 1 μm for galaxies in this redshift range. By modeling the galaxies’ SEDs the MIRI data show that the galaxies have, on average, rest-frame UV (1600 Å)—I-band colors 0.4 mag bluer than derived when using photometry that lacks MIRI. Therefore, the galaxies have lower ratios of stellar mass to light. The MIRI data reduce the stellar masses by 〈 Δ log M * 〉 = 0.25 dex at 4 < z < 6 and 0.37 dex at 6 < z < 9. This also reduces the star formation rates (SFRs) by 〈ΔlogSFR〉 = 0.14 dex at 4 < z < 6 and 0.27 dex at 6 < z < 9. The MIRI data also improve constraints on the allowable stellar mass formed in early star formation. We model this using a star formation history that includes both a “burst” at z f = 100 and a slowly varying (“delayed-τ”) model. The MIRI data reduce the allowable stellar mass by 0.6 dex at 4 < z < 6 and by ≈1 dex at 6 < z < 9. Applying these results globally, this reduces the cosmic stellar-mass density by an order of magnitude in the early Universe (z ≈ 9). Therefore, observations of rest-frame ≳1 μm are paramount for constraining the stellar-mass buildup in galaxies at very high redshifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL18
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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