The minimum halo mass for star formation at z = 6-8

Kristian Finlator, Moire K.M. Prescott, B. D. Oppenheimer, Romeel Davé, E. Zackrisson, R. C. Livermore, S. L. Finkelstein, Robert Thompson, Shuiyao Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recent analysis of strongly lensed sources in the Hubble Frontier Fields indicates that the restframe UV luminosity function of galaxies at z=6-8 rises as a power law down to MUV=-15, and possibly as faint as-12.5.We use predictions from a cosmological radiation hydrodynamic simulation to map these luminosities on to physical space, constraining the minimum dark matter halo mass and stellar mass that the Frontier Fields probe. While previously published theoretical studies have suggested or assumed that early star formation was suppressed in haloes less massive than 109-1011 M, we find that recent observations demand vigorous star formation in haloes at least as massive as (3.1, 5.6, 10.5) ×109 M at z = (6, 7, 8). Likewise, we find that Frontier Fields observations probe down to stellar masses of (8.1, 18, 32) ×106 M: that is, they are observing the likely progenitors of analogues to Local Group dwarfs such as Pegasus and M32. Our simulations yield somewhat different constraints than two complementary models that have been invoked in similar analyses, emphasizing the need for further observational constraints on the galaxy-halo connection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1633-1639
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 2017


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: haloes
  • Galaxies: highredshift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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