The Small Magellanic Cloud
- V. Charmandaris
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 AV ∼ 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 metalpoor 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.