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The Astrophysical Journal



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We present 88 multi-epoch Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) images (most at an observing frequency of 8 GHz) of 20 TeV blazars, all of the high-frequency-peaked BL Lac (HBL) class, that have not been previously studied at multiple epochs on the parsec scale. From these 20 sources, we analyze the apparent speeds of 43 jet components that are all detected at four or more epochs. As has been found for other TeV HBLs, the apparent speeds of these components are relatively slow. About two-thirds of the components have an apparent speed that is consistent (within 2σ) with no motion, and some of these components may be stationary patterns whose apparent speed does not relate to the underlying bulk flow speed. In addition, a superluminal tail to the apparent speed distribution of the TeV HBLs is detected for the first time, with eight components in seven sources having a 2σ lower limit on the apparent speed exceeding 1c. We combine the data from these 20 sources with an additional 18 sources from the literature to analyze the complete apparent speed distribution of all 38 TeV HBLs that have been studied with very long baseline interferometry at multiple epochs. The highest 2σ apparent speed lower limit considering all sources is 3.6c. This suggests that bulk Lorentz factors of up to about 4, but probably not much higher, exist in the parsec-scale radio-emitting regions of these sources, consistent with estimates obtained in the radio by other means such as brightness temperatures. This can be reconciled with the high Lorentz factors estimated from the high-energy data if the jet has velocity structures consisting of different emission regions with different Lorentz factors. In particular, we analyze the current apparent speed data for the TeV HBLs in the context of a model with a fast central spine and a slower outer layer.