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The Astronomical Journal


Department of Physics and Astronomy


The kinematic and morphological properties of a string of [Ar III] bright knots in the CrabNebula are examined using 1994 – 1999 HST WFPC-2 images of the remnant. We find that five southern [Ar III] bright knots exhibit ordinary radial motions away from the nebula’s center of expansion with magnitudes consistent with their projected radial displacements. This result does not support the suggestion by MacAlpine et al. (1994) that these knots might be moving rapidly away from the Crab pulsar due to a collimated wind. The HST images also do not show that the [Ar III] knots have unusual morphologies relative to other features in the remnant. Our proper motion results, when combined with radial velocity estimates, suggest these knots have relatively low space velocities implying relatively interior remnant locations thus placing them closer to the ionizing radiation from the Crab’s synchrotron nebula. This might lead to higher knot gas temperatures thereby explaining the knots’ unusual line emission strengths as MacAlpine et al. (1994) suspected.