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    ABSTRACT: We have used 605 days of photometric data from the Kepler spacecraft to study KIC 6614501, a close binary system with an orbital period of 0.15749747(25) days (3.779939 hours), that consists of a low-mass subdwarf B (sdB) star and a white dwarf. As seen in many other similar systems, the gravitational field of the white dwarf produces an ellipsoidal deformation of the sdB which appears in the light curve as a modulation at two times the orbital frequency. The ellipsoidal deformation of the sdB implies that the system has a maximum inclination of ~40 degrees, with i \approx 20 degrees being the most likely. The orbital radial velocity of the sdB star is high enough to produce a Doppler beaming effect with an amplitude of 432 \pm 5 ppm, clearly visible in the folded light curve. The photometric amplitude that we obtain, K1 = 85.8 km/s, is ~12 per cent less than the spectroscopic RV amplitude of 97.2 \pm 2.0 km/s. The discrepancy is due to the photometric contamination from a close object at about 5 arcsec North West of KIC 6614501, which is difficult to remove. The atmospheric parameters of the sdB star, Teff = 23 700 \pm 500 K and log g = 5.70 \pm 0.10, imply that it is a rare object below the Extreme Horizontal Branch (EHB), similar to HD 188112 (Heber et al. 2003). The comparison with different evolutionary tracks suggests a mass between ~0.18 and ~0.25 Msun, too low to sustain core helium burning. If the mass was close to 0.18-0.19 Msun, the star could be already on the final He-core WD cooling track. A higher mass, up to ~0.25 Msun, would be compatible with a He-core WD progenitor undergoing a cooling phase in a H-shell flash loop. A third possibility, with a mass between ~0.32 and ~0.40 Msun, can not be excluded and would imply that the sdB is a "normal" (but with an unusually low mass) EHB star burning He...
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2012; 424(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21232.x · 5.11 Impact Factor