Presentation #149.03 in the session The Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science Survey.
Understanding the evolution of galaxy structure and morphology over cosmic time is an ongoing quest in astronomy. Beyond cosmic noon, uncertainties still surround questions like the timeline of the development of disks and bulges, and the evolution of the merger rate. JWST and the new CEERS NIRCam observations, which cover 100 sq. arcmin of the EGS field in seven filters, allow us to push morphology studies further back in time than ever before. In this talk, I present a first look at visual and quantitative galaxy morphologies at z = 3–9 in the first four NIRCam pointings, which arrived in June 2022. Visual classifications were made by the CEERS team, which included standard “Hubble classes” as well as interaction/merger classes. Quantitative morphology measurements were made using the Galapagos-2 and statmorph codes. I also present results of using machine learning to identify merging galaxies at z = 3–5. I train models on simulated CEERS galaxies with known merger histories, then test on real galaxies and compare model output with visual merger classifications and classifications based on quantitative measurements.