A very young component in the pre-eminent starburst region of the Small Magellanic Cloud

M. Heydari-Malayeri (1), R. Selier (1)

(1) LERMA, Observatoire de Paris

We present a study of the compact H II region N66A in the SMC pre-eminent starburst region N66/NGC346. Despite extensive research on various components of the N66/NGC346 complex, few studies have so far focused on N66A, which is a special object in the whole complex and therefore deserves scrutiny. The study of this compact H II region and its fellow objects seems important in the framework of massive star formation in the Magellanic Clouds. This analysis is mainly based on our ESO NTT observations, both imaging and spectroscopy, coupled with archive HST ACS data and Spitzer IRAC data. We derive a number of physical characteristics of the compact H II region N66A. Moreover, we present the spectral classification of the main exciting star of N66A for the first time using spectroscopy. Its spectral features indicate a main sequence massive star of type O8. We compare this result with that based on the stellar Lyman continuum flux estimated from the ionized gas H-beta flux. The compact H II region belongs to a rare class of H II regions in the Magellanic Clouds, called High-excitation Blobs (HEBs). N66A most probably represents a very young massive star formation event in the N66 complex, which has a range of ages.

Reference: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Status: Manuscript has been accepted

Weblink: arXiv:1004.0657


Email: romain.selier@obspm.fr