Young open cluster NGC 602 explored with ALMA

(ORDO NEWS) — Using the Atakama Large Millimeter Wave Array (ALMA), astronomers have studied the young open cluster NGC 602 in the Small Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

The results of the study were published on August 29 at arXiv.org. Open clusters (OCs) are a group of weakly gravitationally bound stars formed from a single giant molecular cloud.

To date, over 1,000 PCs have been found in the Milky Way, and the search is still ongoing.

Expanding the list of known galactic open clusters and studying them in detail are important for a better understanding of the evolution of our galaxy.

NGC 602 is a young, bright, low-metal open cluster about 196,000 light-years away. It is located in the “wing” of the IMO, along with its associated HII N90 region containing clouds of ionized atomic hydrogen.

Due to their proximity to each other, NGC 602 and N90 provide a valuable opportunity to study star formation scenarios.

A team of astronomers from the University of Virginia investigated NGC 602/N90 using ALMA, focusing on the nature of N90’s dense gas and the evolutionary history of the region.

“We present the results of observations of ALMA molecular gas in the low-metallicity star-forming region NGC 602/N90,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

The observations revealed more than 100 molecular clusters that line the rim of N90. After studying the properties of these clusters, astronomers have calculated that the total molecular mass of gas in this region is at the level of 16,600 solar masses.

According to the results of observations, the formation of stars of average mass took place in the N90 region during the last 1-2 million years.

Overall, the star formation rate for NGC 602/N90 was about 130 solar masses per year, and studies have not found conclusive evidence that NGC 602 caused star formation along the rim of N90.

The results also show that star formation in N90 is no more efficient than star formation in a similar high-density massive solar-metallized medium.

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