wing of the small magellanic cloud


NGC 602 is a young, bright open cluster of stars located in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. Radiation and shock waves from the stars have pushed away much of the lighter surrounding gas and dust that compose the nebula known as N90, and this in turn has triggered new star formation in the ridges (or “elephant trunks”) of the nebula. These even younger, pre-main sequence stars are still enshrouded in dust but are visible to the Spitzer Space Telescope at infrared wavelengths.[5] The cluster is of particular interest because it is located in the wing of the SMC leading to the Magellanic Bridge. Hence, while its chemical properties should be similar to those of the rest of thegalaxy, it is relatively isolated and so easier to study.