Optical and infrared nondetection of the z = 10 galaxy behind Abell 1835

Graham P. Smith, David J. Sand, Eiichi Egami, Daniel Stern, Peter R. Eisenhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Gravitational lensing by massive galaxy clusters is a powerful tool for the discovery and study of high-redshift galaxies, including those at z ≥ 6 likely responsible for cosmic reionization. Pelló et al. recently used this technique to discover a candidate gravitationally magnified galaxy at z = 10 behind the massive cluster lens Abell 1835 (z = 0.25). We present new Keck and Spitzer Space Telescope observations of the z = 10 candidate (hereafter #1916, following Pelló et al. 's nomenclature) together with a reanalysis of archival optical and near-infrared imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope and Very Large Telescope, respectively. Our analysis extends from the atmospheric cutoff at λobs ≃ 0.35 μm out to λobs ≃ 5 μm. The z = 10 galaxy is not detected in any of these data, including an independent reduction of Pelló et al.'s discovery H- and K-band imaging. We conclude that there is no statistically reliable evidence for the existence of #1916. We also assess the implications of our results for ground-based near-infrared searches for gravitationally magnified galaxies at z ≳ 7. The broad conclusion is that such experiments remain feasible, assuming that space-based optical and mid-infrared imaging are available to break the degeneracy with low-redshift interlopers (e.g., z ∼ 2-3) when fitting spectral templates to the photometric data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-581
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Jan 10 2006


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Early universe
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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