Tracing the Evolution of Dust Obscured Star Formation and Accretion Back to the Reionisation Epoch with SPICA

November 2017 • 2017PASA...34...55G

Authors • Gruppioni, C. • Ciesla, L. • Hatziminaoglou, E. • Pozzi, F. • Rodighiero, G. • Santini, P. • Armus, L. • Baes, M. • Braine, J. • Charmandaris, V. • Clements, D. L. • Christopher, N. • Dannerbauer, H. • Efstathiou, A. • Egami, E. • Fernández-Ontiveros, J. A. • Fontanot, F. • Franceschini, A. • González-Alfonso, E. • Griffin, M. • Kaneda, H. • Marchetti, L. • Monaco, P. • Nakagawa, T. • Onaka, T. • Papadopoulos, A. • Pearson, C. • Pérez-Fournon, I. • Peréz-González, P. • Roelfsema, P. • Scott, D. • Serjeant, S. • Spinoglio, L. • Vaccari, M. • van der Tak, F. • Vignali, C. • Wang, L. • Wada, T.

Abstract • Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3-4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12-350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6-7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.


IPAC Authors


Lee Armus

Senior Scientist