We present new Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 imaging of 25 extremely luminous (-23.2 <M_ UV <-21.2) Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at z ~ 7. The sample was initially selected from 1.65 deg^2 of ground-based imaging in the UltraVISTA/COSMOS and UDS/SXDS fields, and includes the extreme Lyman-alpha emitters, `Himiko' and `CR7'. A deconfusion analysis of the deep Spitzer photometry available suggests that these galaxies exhibit strong rest-frame optical nebular emission lines (EW_0(H_beta + [OIII]) > 600A). We find that irregular, multiple-component morphologies suggestive of clumpy or merging systems are common (f_multi > 0.4) in bright z ~ 7 galaxies, and ubiquitous at the very bright end (M_UV <-22.5). The galaxies have half-light radii in the range r_1/2 ~ 0.5-3 kpc. The size measurements provide the first robust determination of the size-luminosity relation at z ~ 7 extending to M_UV ~ -23, which we find to be steep with r_1/2 ~ L^1/2. Excluding clumpy, multi-component galaxies however, we find a shallower relation that implies an increased star-formation rate surface density in bright LBGs. Using the new, independent, HST/WFC3 data we confirm that the rest-frame UV luminosity function at z ~ 7 favours a power-law decline at the bright-end, compared to an exponential Schechter function drop-off. Finally, these results have important implications for the Euclid mission, which we predict will detect > 1000 similarly bright galaxies at z ~ 7. Our new HST imaging suggests that the vast majority of these galaxies will be spatially resolved by Euclid, mitigating concerns over dwarf star contamination.
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics