Evidence from observations and computer simulations supports a picture of galaxy growth that isn't dominated by the rough-and-tumble crashes of big galaxies. Instead, most of the universe's stellar metropolises appear to feed themselves with nibbles instead of feasts.
A complex of three bright, star-forming clumps called Himiko is merging in the early universe. With its light reaching us from when the universe was only 800 million years old, this primordial galaxy could yield insight into the elusive process of early galaxy formation.
Planck mission scientists have released the first half of their observations of the cosmic microwave background. The results are a stunning confirmation of today's standard model for how the universe formed and grew. But they also raise some head-scratchers.