Optical Imaging and Spectroscopy of the Galactic Supernova Remnant 3C 58 (G130.7+3.1)


We present a comprehensive imaging and spectroscopic survey of optical emission knots associated with the young Galactic supernova remnant 3C 58. Hα images show hundreds of clumpy filaments and knots arranged in a complex structure covering a nearly circular area roughly 400 ’’ in diameter. A quite different emission structure is seen in [O III], where the brightest features are less clumpy and largely confined to the remnant’s northwest quadrant. Measured radial velocities of over 450 knots reveal two distinct kinematic populations; one with average and peak expansion velocities of 770 and 1100 km s −1 , respectively, forming a thick shell, and the other showing | v | ≤ 250 km s −1 . High-velocity knots ( | v | ≥ 500 km s −1 ) exhibit a strong bipolar expansion pattern with redshifted and blueshifted knots located in northeastern and southwestern regions, respectively. These knots also show strong [N II]/Hα line emission ratios, suggesting enhanced N/H. In contrast, the slower expanding knot population shows much lower [N II]/Hα line ratios and likely represents circumstellar mass loss material from the 3C 58 progenitor. Proper-motion estimates using images spanning a 28 yr time interval suggest positional shifts of between 0.5 ’’ and 2.0 ‘’, implying proper motions of 0.02 ‘’-0.07 ’’ yr −1 . These values agree with previous estimates but are much less than the ##IMG## [http://ej.iop.org/icons/Entities/ap.gif] ≈ 0.2 ’’ yr −1 expected if 3C 58 were associated with historic guest star of 1181 CE.

The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Alejandro Soto
Alejandro Soto
Senior Research Scientist

I am a planetary scientist and aerospace engineer.