Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series


Department of Physics and Astronomy


Hubble Space Telescope images of the core-collapse supernova remnant Cassiopeia A are used to identify high-velocity knots of ejecta located outside the remnant's main emission shell of expanding debris. These ejecta fragments are found near or ahead of the remnant's forward shock front and mostly lie from 120'' to 300'' in radial distance from the remnant's center of expansion. Filter flux ratios when correlated with published spectra show that these knots can be divided into three emission classes: (1) knots dominated by [N II] λλ6548, 6583 emissions, (2) knots dominated by [O II] λλ7319, 7330 emissions, and (3) knots displaying filter flux ratios suggestive of [S II], [O II], and [Ar III] λ7135 emission line strengths similar to the "fast-moving knots" (FMKs) found in the remnant's bright main shell. Of 1825 knots identified, 444 are strong [N II] emission knots, 192 are strong [O II] emission knots, and 1189 are FMK-like knots. In terms of location around the remnant, 972, 207, and 646 knots are found in the remnant's northeast jet, southwest jet, and non-jet regions, respectively. Assuming a distance of 3.4 kpc, derived knot transverse velocities based on proper motion measurements spanning a 9 month interval indicate maximum transverse expansion velocities for these three knot classes of 14,500, 13,500, and 11,500 km s−1, respectively. We present a catalog of these outlying ejecta clumps comprising finding charts, epoch 2004.2 knot positions, proper motions, photometric filter fluxes, and estimated knot emission type, along with cross-references to previous knot identifications and data. This compilation represents a nearly tenfold increase in the number of outlying, high-velocity ejecta knots identified around the Cassiopeia A remnant.



Original Citation

Molly C. Hammell and Robert A. Fesen 2008 ApJS 179 195