We report our measurements of the bulk radial velocity from a sample of small, metal-rich ejecta knots in Kepler's supernova remnant (SNR). We measure the Doppler shift of the He-like Si Kα line-center energy in the spectra of these knots based on our Chandra High-Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer observation to estimate their radial velocities. We estimate high radial velocities of up to ∼8000 km s-1 for some of these ejecta knots. We also measure proper motions for our sample based on the archival Chandra Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer data taken in 2000, 2006, and 2014. Our measured radial velocities and proper motions indicate that some of these ejecta knots are almost freely expanding after ∼400 yr since the explosion. The fastest moving knots show proper motions of up to ∼0.″2 per year. Assuming that these high-velocity ejecta knots are traveling ahead of the forward shock of the SNR, we estimate the distance to Kepler's SNR d ∼ 4.4-7.5 kpc. We find that the ejecta knots in our sample have an average space velocity of v s ∼ 4600 km s-1 (at a distance of 6 kpc). We note that 8 of the 15 ejecta knots from our sample show a statistically significant (at the 90% confidence level) redshifted spectrum, compared to only two with a blueshifted spectrum. This may suggest an asymmetry in the ejecta distribution in Kepler's SNR along the line of sight; however, a larger sample size is required to confirm this result.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science