Institution(s): 1. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Understanding the sources and evolution of dust in the very high redshift universe (z > 8-9) poses unique challenges to observers and theorists alike.
The peak of the infrared emission from the dust falls in the ~ 80-120 micron region in the rest frame of the galaxy, or about 850 micron to 2 mm in the observers' frame. Sensitivity and background confusion are the main obstacles for the detection of these high-z galaxies and their association with optical and near-IR counterparts. Observations with instruments such as the SCUBA-2, AzTEC, Mambo, Laboca, and GISMO2 offer the best hope for detecting such sources.
On the theoretical side, the sources of dust in these galaxies are confined to massive stars with main sequence lifetimes that are shorter than the age of the universe. This leaves core collapse supernovae (CCSNe) as the main source of thermally-condensed dust in these objects. Dust is not only produced by CCSNe, but also destroyed by them in the remnant phase of their evolution. Accounting for the mass of dust inferred from the far-IR/millimeter observations requires therefore an understanding of the various physical processes affecting the evolution of dust in the very high-z universe, and a carefull evaluation of the balance between their different dust formation and destruction mechanisms.