Bright z~9 Galaxies in Parallel: The Bright End of the Rest-UV Luminosity Function from HST Parallel Programs
The abundance of bright galaxies at z>8 can provide key constraints on models of galaxy formation and evolution, as the predicted abundance varies greatly when different physical prescriptions for gas cooling and star formation are implemented. We present the results of a search for bright z=9-10 galaxies selected from pure-parallel Hubble Space Telescope imaging programs. We include 132 fields observed as part of the Brightest of Reionizing Galaxies survey, the Hubble Infrared Pure Parallel Imaging Extragalactic Survey, and the WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel survey. These observations cover a total of 620 sq. arcmin, about 70% of which is also covered with Spitzer Space Telescope infrared imaging. We identify thirteen candidate galaxies in the range 8.3<z<11 with 24.5 < m_H < 26.5 (-22.9 < M_UV < -21.2). This sample capitalizes on the uncorrelated nature of pure parallel observations to overcome cosmic variance and leverages a full multi-wavelength selection process to minimize contamination without sacrificing completeness. We perform detailed completeness and contamination analyses, and present measurements of the bright end of the UV luminosity function using a pseudo-binning technique. We find a number density consistent with results from Finkelstein et al. (2022) and other searches in HST parallel fields. These bright candidates likely reside in overdensities, potentially representing some of the earliest sites of cosmic reionization. These new candidates are excellent targets for follow-up with JWST, and four of them will be observed with the NIRSpec prism in Cycle 1.