General Assembly 2006
The Universe at z>6
The exploration of the earliest phase of star and galaxy formation after the Big Bang
remains an important challenge of contemporary astrophysics and represents a key
science driver for numerous future facilities.
During this phase the first stars and galaxies appear and start to light up and ionize
the then neutral Universe ending thereby the so called cosmic dark ages and leading
progressively to the complete reionization we observe now at redshift z ~ 6.
Important theoretical and numerical advances have been made in the modeling of the early
Universe. Also, it has recently become possible to obtain direct observations
of galaxies, quasars, and the intergalactic medium (IGM) at redshift z ~ 6. Furthermore
new optical to near-IR observations using ground-based and space-borne telescopes
are now opening up the view to even higher redshift, directly probing for the first
time galaxies during the first billion years after the Big Bang.
This Joint Discussion will be a forum to present and discuss the
latest results both from numerical modeling and from observations in this
rapidly advancing field.
to be discussed are:
Galaxies at z > 6
- Interstellar and Intergalactic Medium at z > 6
- Quasars at z > 6
- Observational approaches to z > 6: deep fields, lensing clusters, gamma-ray bursts to probe the early Universe,
- Star formation in the early Universe (simulations)
- Feedback mechanisms at high-z at various scales (galactic and IGM)
including galaxy outflows
- Early chemical evolution of the Universe
- Cosmic reionization (simulations, observational constraints)