Near the outskirts of the
Small Magellanic Cloud,
a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant,
lies 5 million year young
star cluster NGC 602.
Surrounded by natal gas and dust,
NGC 602 is featured in this
stunning Hubble image of the region.
Fantastic ridges and swept
back shapes strongly suggest that
energetic radiation and shock waves from NGC 602's massive
young stars have eroded the dusty material and triggered a
of star formation moving away from the cluster's center.
At the estimated distance of the Small Magellanic Cloud, the
picture spans about 200 light-years, but
a tantalizing assortment of
background galaxies are also visible in the sharp Hubble view.
The background galaxies are hundreds of millions of
light-years or more beyond NGC 602.
and the Hubble Heritage
Team (STScI/AURA) -