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A new HST measurement of the Crab Pulsar proper motion *
P.A. Caraveo 1,2 and
R.P. Mignani 3
Received 27 October 1998 / Accepted 23 December 1998
We have used a set of archived HST/WFPC2 exposures of the inner regions of the Crab Nebula to obtain a new measurement of the pulsar proper motion, the first after the original work of Wyckoff & Murray, more than 20 years ago. Our measurement of the pulsar displacement, mas yr-1, agrees well with the value obtained previously. This is noteworthy, since the data we have used span less than 2 years, as opposed to the 77 years required in the previous work.
With a position angle of , the proper motion vector appears aligned with the axis of symmetry of the inner Crab nebula, as defined by the direction of the X-ray jet observed by ROSAT. Indeed, if the neutron star rotation is to be held responsible both for the X-ray jet and for the observed symmetry, the Crab could provide an example of alignment between spin axis and proper motion.
Key words: stars: pulsars: individual: Crab astrometry
Send offprint requests to: P.A. Caraveo
Online publication: March 10, 1999