BoRG collaborator Rychard Bouwens (Leiden University) has been awarded up to 25.8 hours of priority 1 observing time with Spitzer/IRAC to follow-up BoRG sources!
Spitzer/IRAC will provide the much needed IR observations to distinguish between the true z ~ 9 – 11 galaxies formed just a few hundred million years after the Big Band and dusty, old z ~ 2 galaxies which have similar spectral signatures in HST near-IR broad band imaging. As the reviewer says “Spitzer IRAC is the only instrument that allows for such a sample to be detected… This is very important for preparing for JWST”.
Using IRAC to weed out the low redshift interlopers, we expect to secure a sample of ~5-10 bright z ~ 9 – 11 galaxies. This will help us to constrain the bright end of the luminosity function at very high redshift, without being affected by cosmic variance, and provide an exciting sample of galaxies for spectroscopic follow-up with Keck and JWST.