The tiniest galaxy known is still in the process of being born. Observing this Lilliputian with the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are getting a rare glimpse of how larger galaxies formed early in the history of the universe.
The revelations support a recent model of galaxy formation that holds that the smallest galaxies, rather than the biggest, are last to assemble. At first glance, that model seems to contradict the leading theory of galaxy formation, but this shrinking trend is in fact consistent with the theory, several cosmologists say.
Ground-based images had already shown signs of recent star formation within the dwarf galaxy POX 186. New Hubble images document with unprecedented clarity the asymmetric shape of the galaxy, a