September 2020 - Picture of the Month
The Flying Lizard Nebula and NGC 602 in Hydrus
I'm heading south for this month's picture for an object on the eastern edge of the Small Magellanic Cloud.
I particularly love young star clusters – this one's been about for around 5 million years – because they come with the nebulosity of the surrounding gas and dust from which they were created.
The nebula is know as the Flying Lizard, or more officially N90, and NGC 602 is the open cluster embedded within that's blowing the bubble we can see in this image. Steve has both of the main concentrations of cluster stars, plenty of reflection and emission from the nebula, and glimpses of a few background galaxies, including a wonderful spiral just to the right of centre that is much clearer in this Hubble image.
What is also captured towards the bottom left from N90 is the circular outline of a supernova remnant with a bright star (14th magnitude in this case) at its centre. This, I believe, is the X-ray pulsar SXP 1062, and there's an image of that by ESA's XMM-Newton.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.