NGC 602 and Beyond
Near the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy some 200 thousand light-years distant, lies the young star cluster NGC 602. Surrounded by natal gas and dust, NGC 602 is featured in this Hubble image of the region. Fantastic ridges and undulating shapes strongly suggest that energetic radiation and shock waves from NGC 602's massive young stars have eroded the dusty material and triggered a progression 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.
Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA)