The low-mass white dwarf companion to ss Crateris
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We present FUSE H Lyman series spectroscopy of the hot white dwarf companion
to the 4th magnitude A1III star Beta Crateris, which shows that is has an
unusually low mass, 0.43Msun, and has almost certainly evolved through binary
interaction. This system could be a long-sought remnant of Algol-type
evolution, although radial velocity measurements appear to show that the pair
are not close. Instead, micro-variations in Beta Crt's proper motion as
measured by Hipparcos suggests that the period could be as high as 10 years.
However, a low mass white dwarf in a system with a period >3 years is difficult
to explain by conventional models for binary evolution. We speculate on
alternative models for the evolution of this system which involve an eccentric
binary or multiple components.
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