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L. R. Mitchell (Northern Arizona U., Maria Mitchell Obs.), G. C. Clayton (Louisiana State U., Maria Mitchell Obs.)
Presently, there are two leading scenarios for the evolution of R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars, the Helium Final Flash and the Double Degenerate Method (DDM). We present a comparison of observational and theoretical data concerning the evolution of RCB stars, specifically concentrating on the DDM. The process of evolution of RCB stars has yet to be determined precisely, and there is an uncertainty as to whether or not the DDM can produce the observed population of RCB stars. By using new observational data of white dwarf binaries from the SPY project, we calculate the expected population of RCB stars in our galaxy that would be produced by the DDM. These calculations are then compared to well-established theoretical models in order to judge their validity. The results are consistent with the estimated number of RCB stars in the galaxy, implying that all RCB stars could be produced by the DDM. This project was supported by the NSF/REU grant AST-0354056 and the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.