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October 31, 202211:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

Lighting Up the Dark: Efforts to Understand the Hidden Nature of NIR-dark Galaxies


Sinclaire Manning (University of Massachusetts Amherst)


Justin Spilker



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

Event Details

Since the late 1990s, far-infrared (FIR) and (sub)millimeter extragalactic surveys have revealed a significant population of dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs) via thermal, dust-reprocessed ultraviolet and optical light from young, massive stars. These early works drastically altered our understanding of the prevalence of DSFGs beyond our local Universe and guided a new era of astronomical discovery. Still, the true abundance of DSFGs in the early Universe (z>3) remains unclear given a lack of FIR constraints and associated sample incompleteness. In this talk, I will present results from the Mapping Obscuration to Reionization with ALMA (MORA) survey, which aims to efficiently detect z > 3 DSFGs at 2 millimeters. I will then focus on my work characterizing a subsample of near-infrared (NIR)-dark galaxies, i.e. DSFGs undetected in the deepest available optical/NIR observations with the Hubble Space Telescope due to a combination of their extreme dust obscuration and high redshifts. Finally, I will discuss ongoing and future surveys with ALMA, LMT, and JWST as we work to take census and determine the physical properties of the earliest known dust-obscured galaxies residing in the first billion years of the Universe.

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