UCL Astrophysics Group


First Light

About First Light

Project First Light is an ERC funded research activity whose principal goal is to examine the role that early galaxies played in driving cosmic reionisation. Via deep imaging in blank fields and through gravitationally-lensing clusters, galaxies in the reionisation era are examined spectroscopically using a variety of large ground-based telescopes. Lower redshift analogues of galaxies in the reionisation era are also studied in detail to understand the physical processes by which Lyman continuum photons are produced and can escape into the intergalactic medium. This focused observational activity is supplemented by a theoretical component based on numerical simulations incorporating radiative transfer and the modeling of nebular emission lines as a probe of the nature of the ionising radiation field. The group is actively planning programmes to be undertaken with future facilities including the James Webb Space Telescope.

Our work so far

About the Team

The team is led by Professor Richard Ellis, and supported by both Research Associates and PhD students. There are strong collaborative links with research groups at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Caltech, the University of Arizona, University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Tokyo. Please see our First Light Team page for more information on the team.

First Light group photo, UCL, October 2018 (from L-R: Rebecca Martin, Romain Meyer, Koki Kakiichi, Guido Roberts-Borsani, Richard Ellis, Kiana Kade, Sarah Bosman, Nicolas Laporte)