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Astron. Astrophys. 347, 841-849 (1999)

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HST observations of the very young SMC "blob" N 88A * ** ***

M. Heydari-Malayeri 1, V. Charmandaris 1, L. Deharveng 2, M.R. Rosa ****  3 and H. Zinnecker 4

1 DEMIRM, Observatoire de Paris, 61 Avenue de l'Observatoire, F-75014 Paris, France
2 Observatoire de Marseille, 2 Place Le Verrier, F-13248 Marseille Cedex 4, France
3 Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse-2, D-85748 Garching bei München, Germany
4 Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, D-14482 Potsdam, Germany

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 [FORMULA] 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 [FORMULA] [FORMULA] 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.
** Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.
*** Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( (ftp://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/pub/cats/J/A+A/347/841) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/347/841
**** Affiliated to the Astrophysics Division, Space Science Department of the European Space Agency.

Send offprint requests to: M. Heydari-Malayeri (heydari@obspm.fr)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: June 6, 1999