RELICS: The Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey and the Brightest High-z Galaxies

Brett Salmon, Dan Coe, Larry Bradley, Rychard Bouwens, Marusa Bradač, Kuang Han Huang, Pascal A. Oesch, Daniel Stark, Keren Sharon, Michele Trenti, Roberto J. Avila, Sara Ogaz, Felipe Andrade-Santos, Daniela Carrasco, Catherine Cerny, William Dawson, Brenda L. Frye, Austin Hoag, Traci Lin Johnson, Christine JonesDaniel Lam, Lorenzo Lovisari, Ramesh Mainali, Matt Past, Rachel Paterno-Mahler, Avery Peterson, Adam G. Riess, Steven A. Rodney, Russel E. Ryan, Irene Sendra-Server, Victoria Strait, Louis Gregory Strolger, Keiichi Umetsu, Benedetta Vulcani, Adi Zitrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Massive foreground galaxy clusters magnify and distort the light of objects behind them, permitting a view into both the extremely distant and intrinsically faint galaxy populations. We present here the candidate high-redshift galaxies from the Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey (RELICS), a Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescope survey of 41 massive galaxy clusters spanning an area of ≈200 arcmin2. These clusters were selected to be excellent lenses, and we find similar high-redshift sample sizes and magnitude distributions as the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH). We discover 257, 57, and eight candidate galaxies at z ∼ 6, 7, and 8 respectively, (322 in total). The observed (lensed) magnitudes of the z ∼ 6 candidates are as bright as AB mag ∼23, making them among the brightest known at these redshifts, comparable with discoveries from much wider, blank-field surveys. RELICS demonstrates the efficiency of using strong gravitational lenses to produce high-redshift samples in the epoch of reionization. These brightly observed galaxies are excellent targets for follow-up study with current and future observatories, including the James Webb Space Telescope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number189
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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  • Brightest high-z galaxies in RELICS clusters

    Salmon, B. (Creator), Coe, D. (Creator), Bradley, L. (Creator), Bouwens, R. (Creator), Bradač, M. (Contributor), Huang, K. (Creator), Oesch, P. A. (Creator), Stark, D. P. (Creator), Sharon, K. (Creator), Trenti, M. (Creator), Avila, R. J. (Creator), Ogaz, S. (Creator), Andrade-Santos, F. (Creator), Carrasco, D. (Creator), Cerny, C. (Creator), Dawson, W. (Creator), Frye, B. L. (Creator), Hoag, A. (Creator), Johnson, T. L. (Creator), Jones, C. (Creator), Lam, D. (Creator), Lovisari, L. (Creator), Mainali, R. (Creator), Past, M. (Creator), Paterno-Mahler, R. (Creator), Peterson, A. (Creator), Riess, A. G. (Creator), Rodney, S. A. (Creator), Ryan, R. E. (Creator), Sendra-Server, I. (Creator), Strait, V. (Creator), Strolger, L. (Creator), Umetsu, K. (Creator), Vulcani, B. (Creator), Zitrin, A. (Creator), Coe, D. (Creator), Bradley, L. (Creator), Ryan, R. E. (Creator) & Umetsu, K. (Creator), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2021


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