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Progressive star formation in the young SMC cluster NGC 602

By Lynn Redding Carlson, E. Sabbi, J. L. Hora, M. Meixner, J. S. Gallagher, M. S. Oey, A. Pasquali, M. Tosi and R. Walterbos


NGC 602 is a young stellar cluster located in a peripheral region of the Small Magellanic Cloud known as the wing. Far from the main body of the galaxy and abutting the Magellanic Bridge, the SMC’s wing is characterized by low gas and stellar content. With deep optical imaging from the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), we have discovered an extensive pre-Main Sequence (PMS) population, with stellar masses in the range 0.6–3 M⊙. These low mass PMS stars formed coevally with the central cluster about 4 Myr ago. Spitzer Space Telescope (Spitzer) images of the same region from the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) also reveal a population of Young Stellar Objects (YSOs), some of which are still embedded in nebular material and most

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