Conditions for detecting lensed Population III galaxies in blind surveys with the James Webb Space Telescope, the Roman Space Telescope and Euclid Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Vikaeus, Anton; Zackrisson, Erik; Schaerer, Daniel; Visbal, Eli; Fransson, Emma; Malhotra, Sangeeta; Rhodes, James; Sahlen, Martin


  • Dark matter halos that reach the HI-cooling mass without prior star formation or external metal pollution represent potential sites for the formation of small Population III galaxies at high redshifts. Such objects are expected to attain total stellar masses of at most $10^6$ solar masses and will therefore typically be extremely faint. Gravitational lensing may in rare cases boost their fluxes to detectable levels, but to find even a small number of such objects requires very large sky areas to be surveyed. Because of this, a small, wide-field telescope can in principle offer better detection prospects than a large telescope with a smaller field of view. Here, we derive the Pop III galaxy properties - in terms of comoving number density, stellar initial mass function and total stellar mass - required to allow gravitational lensing to lift such objects at redshift z = 5-16 above the detection thresholds of blind surveys carried out with the James Webb space telescope (JWST), the Roman space telescope (RST) or Euclid. We find that the prospects for photometric detections of Pop III galaxies are promising, and that they are better for RST than for JWST and Euclid. However, the Pop III galaxies favoured by current simulations have number densities too low to allow spectroscopic detections based on the strength of the HeII1640 emission line in any of the considered surveys unless very high star formation efficiencies (10 per cent) are envoked. [Journal_ref: ]


publication date

  • 2022

start page

  • 3030

end page

  • 3044


  • 512