A Search for H-Dropout Lyman Break Galaxies at z ∼12-16

Yuichi Harikane*, Akio K. Inoue, Ken Mawatari, Takuya Hashimoto, Satoshi Yamanaka, Yoshinobu Fudamoto, Hiroshi Matsuo, Yoichi Tamura, Pratika Dayal, L. Y.Aaron Yung, Anne Hutter, Fabio Pacucci, Yuma Sugahara, Anton M. Koekemoer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


We present two bright galaxy candidates at z ∼12-13 identified in our H-dropout Lyman break selection with 2.3 deg2 near-infrared deep imaging data. These galaxy candidates, selected after careful screening of foreground interlopers, have spectral energy distributions showing a sharp discontinuity around 1.7 μm, a flat continuum at 2-5 μm, and nondetections at <1.2 μm in the available photometric data sets, all of which are consistent with a z > 12 galaxy. An ALMA program targeting one of the candidates shows a tentative 4σ [O iii] 88 μm line at z = 13.27, in agreement with its photometric redshift estimate. The number density of the z ∼12-13 candidates is comparable to that of bright z ∼10 galaxies and is consistent with a recently proposed double-power-law luminosity function rather than the Schechter function, indicating little evolution in the abundance of bright galaxies from z ∼4 to 13. Comparisons with theoretical models show that the models cannot reproduce the bright end of rest-frame ultraviolet luminosity functions at z ∼10-13. Combined with recent studies reporting similarly bright galaxies at z ∼9-11 and mature stellar populations at z ∼6-9, our results indicate the existence of a number of star-forming galaxies at z > 10, which will be detected with upcoming space missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope, Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, and GREX-PLUS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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