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M. Heydari-Malayeri 1,
V. Charmandaris 1,
L. Deharveng 2,
M.R. Rosa **** 3 and
H. Zinnecker 4
Received 27 January 1999 / Accepted 20 April 1999
High-resolution Hubble Space Telescope images have allowed us for the first time to resolve the compact SMC ionized "blob" N 88A (diameter 3".5 or 1 pc). This very young H II region, which is hatching from its natal molecular cloud, is heavily affected by absorbing dust associated with the cloud. The interstellar reddening towards N 88A is on average 1.5 mag and strikingly rises to more than 3.5 mag in a narrow dust band crossing the core of the H II region. Such a high extinction is unprecedented for an H II region in the metal-poor SMC. We present the photometry of some 60 stars lying towards the OB association at the center of which lies N 88A. The exciting star(s) of N 88A is not detected, due to the heavy extinction. The chronology of star formation is discussed for the whole region.
Key words: stars: early-type ISM: dust, extinction ISM: H ii regions ISM: individual objects: N 88A (SMC) galaxies: Magellanic Clouds
* Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
Send offprint requests to: M. Heydari-Malayeri (email@example.com)
Online publication: June 6, 1999