Garth Illingworth

Garth Illingworth is a Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley, the Deputy-Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, and in 2010 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the University of Western Australia. He is the recipient of the 2016 American Astronomical Society Lancelot M. Berkeley New York Community Trust Prize for his work on The most-distant galaxies viewed with Hubble.

He has been exploring for the earliest galaxies in the first 1-2 billion years of the Universe with the world’s most powerful telescopes, the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes and the Keck telescope on Mauna Kea. Central to his research has been to use Hubble to look back through 96% of all time to find and measure incredibly faint, young galaxies that are the seeds that have grown into galaxies today, like our Milky Way.

A recent highlight of this research is the discovery of the most distant, and earliest, galaxy ever seen, just 400 million years after the Big Bang at redshift z=11.1. The publications from this research on the most distant and earliest galaxies, with an international team of scientists, have consistently been among the most highly cited papers on galaxies in the early universe (see firstgalaxies.org). The latest results on the sizes of distant galaxies and on the star formation rate density at z~10, combined with the latest Planck results that indicate that reionization began around redshift z~10, have significant implications for the detectability of the “first galaxies” with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). He recently gave the Lancelot M. Berkeley Prize plenary talk at the 2017 meeting of the American Astronomical Society.