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We report detections of thermal X-ray line emission and proper motions in the supernova remnant (SNR) RX J1713.7-3946, the prototype of the small class of synchrotron dominated SNRs. Based on deep XMM-Newton observations, we find clear line features including Ne Lyα, Mg Heα, and Si Heα from the central portion of the remnant. The metal abundance ratios suggest that the thermal emission originates from core-collapse SN ejecta arising from a relatively low-mass (≲20 M⊙) progenitor. In addition, using XMM-Newton observations on a 13 yr time interval, we have measured expansion in the southeastern rim to be ~0.75″ yr−1 or ~3500 km s−1 at a distance of 1 kpc. Given this, we derive an upstream density to be ~0.01 cm−3, compatible with the lack of thermal X-rays from the shocked ambient medium. We also estimate the age of the remnant to be ~1200–1600 yr, roughly consistent with the idea that RX J1713.7-3946 is the remnant of SN 393.
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