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How to Make a Singleton sdB Star via Accelerated Stellar Evolution

By Drew Clausen and Richard A. Wade


Many hot subdwarf B stars (sdBs) are in close binaries, and the favored formation channels for subdwarfs rely on mass transfer in a binary system to strip a core He burning star of its envelope. However, these channels cannot account for sdBs that have been observed in long period binaries nor the narrow mass distribution of isolated (or "singleton") sdBs. We propose a new formation channel involving the merger of a helium white dwarf and a low mass, hydrogen burning star, which addresses these issues. Hierarchical triples whose inner binaries merge and form sdBs by this process could explain the observed long period subdwarf+main sequence binaries. This process would also naturally explain the observed slow rotational speeds of singleton sdBs. We also briefly discuss the implications of this formation channel for extreme horizontal branch morphology in globular clusters and the UV upturn in elliptical galaxies.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication ApJ

Topics: Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/2041-8205/733/2/L42
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