January 2023 • 2023ApJ...942L..27S
Abstract • We exploit James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) NIRCam observations from the GLASS-JWST-Early Release Science program to investigate galaxy stellar masses at z > 7. We first show that JWST observations reduce the uncertainties on the stellar mass by a factor of at least 5-10, when compared with the highest-quality data sets available to date. We then study the UV mass-to-light ratio, finding that galaxies exhibit a a two orders of magnitude range of M/L UV values for a given luminosity, indicative of a broad variety of physical conditions and star formation histories. As a consequence, previous estimates of the cosmic stellar-mass density-based on an average correlation between UV luminosity and stellar mass-can be biased by as much as a factor of ~6. Our first exploration demonstrates that JWST represents a new era in our understanding of stellar masses at z > 7 and, therefore, of the growth of galaxies prior to cosmic reionization.