Combining Statistical Samples of Resolved-ISM Simulated Galaxies with Realistic Mock Observations to Fully Interpret HST and JWST Surveys

Project: Research project

Project Details


HST has invested thousands of orbits to complete multi-wavelength surveys of high-redshift galaxies including the Deep Fields, COSMOS, 3D-HST and CANDELS. Over the next few years, JWST will undertake complementary, spatially-resolved infrared observations. Cosmological simulations are the most powerful tool to make detailed predictions for the properties of galaxy populations and to interpret these surveys. We will leverage recent major advances in the predictive power of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations to produce the first statistical sample of hundreds of galaxies simulated with 10 pc resolution and with explicit interstellar medium and stellar feedback physics proved to simultaneously reproduce the galaxy stellar mass function, the chemical enrichment of galaxies, and the neutral hydrogen content of galaxy halos. We will process our new set of full-volume cosmological simulations, called FIREBOX, with a mock imaging and spectral synthesis pipeline to produce realistic mock HST and JWST observations, including spatially-resolved photometry and spectroscopy. By comparing FIREBOX with recent high-redshift HST surveys, we will study the stellar build up of galaxies, the evolution massive star-forming clumps, their contribution to bulge growth, the connection of bulges to star formation quenching, and the triggering mechanisms of AGN activity. Our mock data products will also enable us to plan future JWST observing programs. We will publicly release all our mock data products to enable HST and JWST science beyond our own analysis, including with the Frontier Fields.
Effective start/end date11/1/1610/31/19


  • Space Telescope Science Institute (HST-AR-14562.001-A // NAS5-26555)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (HST-AR-14562.001-A // NAS5-26555)


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