The Far-infrared Emission of the First Massive Galaxies

Maria Emilia De Rossi, George H. Rieke, Irene Shivaei, Volker Bromm, Jianwei Lyu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Massive Population II galaxies undergoing the first phase of vigorous star formation after the initial Population III stage should have high energy densities and silicate-rich interstellar dust. We have modeled the resulting far-infrared spectral energy distributions (SEDs), demonstrating that they are shifted substantially to bluer ("warmer") wavelengths relative to the best fitting ones at z ≈ 3, and with strong outputs in the 10-40 μm range. When combined with a low level of emission by carbon dust, their SEDs match that of Haro 11, a local moderately low-metallicity galaxy undergoing a very young and vigorous starburst that is likely to approximate the relevant conditions in young Population II galaxies. We expect to see similar SEDs at high redshifts (z 5) given the youth of galaxies at this epoch. In fact, we find a progression with redshift in observed galaxy SEDs, from those resembling local ones at 2 ≲ z < 4 to a closer resemblance with Haro 11 at 5 ≲ z < 7. In addition to the insight on conditions in high-redshift galaxies, this result implies that estimates of the total infrared luminosities at z ∼ 6 based on measurements near λ ∼ 1 mm can vary by factors of 2-4, depending on the SED template used. Currently popular modified blackbodies or local templates can result in significant underestimates compared with the preferred template based on the SED of Haro 11.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 10 2018


  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The Far-infrared Emission of the First Massive Galaxies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this