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A Third-epoch Proper Motion Study of the Forward Shock in Kepler’s Supernova Remnant

Presentation #133.03 in the session Planetary Nebulae, Supernova Remnants.

Published onJun 29, 2022
A Third-epoch Proper Motion Study of the Forward Shock in Kepler’s Supernova Remnant

We present measurements of the expansion of Kepler’s Supernova Remnant (SNR) over three epochs of Chandra X-ray observations from 2000, 2006, and 2014. As the remnant of a historical supernova (observed in 1604 CE), Kepler’s SNR presents the rare opportunity to study the dynamical evolution of such an object in real time. Measurements of the asymmetry in the forward shock velocity can also provide insight into the nature of the explosion and density of the circumstellar material. By combining data from 2014 with previous epochs in 2000 and 2006, we can observe the proper motion of filaments along the outer rim of the SNR. Prior studies of Kepler’s SNR have shown proper motion differences up to a factor of 3 between the northern and southern regions around the remnant. With the longer time baseline we use here, we find results that are consistent with previous studies, but with smaller uncertainties. Additionally, by adding a third epoch of observations, we search for any systemic change in the velocity in the form of a deceleration of the blast wave, as was recently reported in Tycho’s SNR. We find little to no conclusive evidence of such deceleration, and conclude that Kepler’s SNR is encountering circumstellar material that is roughly constant in density, though substantially varied around the periphery.

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