Surveys with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have discovered candidate galaxies in the first 400 Myr of cosmic time. Preliminary indications have suggested these candidate galaxies may be more massive and abundant than previously thought. However, without confirmed distances, their inferred properties remain uncertain. Here we identify four galaxies located in the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey Near-Infrared Camera imaging with photometric redshifts z of roughly 10–13. These galaxies include the first redshift z > 12 systems discovered with distances spectroscopically confirmed by JWST in a companion paper. Using stellar population modelling, we find the galaxies typically contain 100 million solar masses in stars, in stellar populations that are less than 100 million years old. The moderate star-formation rates and compact sizes suggest elevated star-formation rate surface densities, a key indicator of their formation pathways. Taken together, these measurements show that the first galaxies contributing to cosmic reionization formed rapidly and with intense internal radiation fields.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics