Inside star cluster NGC 602, a star-forming region in the Small Magellanic Cloud, bright, blue, newly formed stars are blowing a cavity in this nebula,sculpting the inner edge of its outer portions, slowly eroding it away and eating into the material beyond. The diffuse outer reaches of the nebula prevent the energetic outflows from streaming away from the cluster. Elephant trunk–like dust pillars point toward the hot blue stars and are telltale signs of their eroding effect. Star formation started at the center of the cluster and propagated outward, with the youngest stars still forming today along the dust ridges.

Image Credit: NASA

星团NGC 602内部,小麦哲伦星云中的恒星形成区域,明亮、蓝色、新形成的恒星正在星中吹出一个空腔,雕刻着其外部部分的内缘,慢慢地将其腐蚀掉,并侵蚀着外面的物质。星云扩散的外层区域阻止了从星团中流出的能量。象鼻状的尘埃柱指向炽热的蓝色恒星,这是它们受到侵蚀的迹象。恒星的形成始于星团的中心,并向外传播,最年轻的恒星至今仍在沿着星尘脊形成。


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