We have gathered a sample of 112 main-sequence stars with known debris disks. We collected published information and performed adaptive optics observations at Lick Observatory to determine if these debris disks are associated with binary or multiple stars. We discovered a previously unknown M-star companion to HD 1051 at a projected separation of 628 AU. We found that 25%±4% of our debris disk systems are binary or triple star systems, substantially less than the expected ∼50%. The period distribution for these suggests a relative lack of systems with 1-100 AU separations. Only a few systems have blackbody disk radii comparable to the binary/triple separation. Together, these two characteristics suggest that binaries with intermediate separations of 1-100 AU readily clear out their disks. We find that the fractional disk luminosity, as a proxy for disk mass, is generally lower for multiple systems than for single stars at any given age. Hence, for a binary to possess a disk (or form planets) it must either be a very widely separated binary with disk particles orbiting a single star or it must be a small separation binary with a circumbinary disk.
binaries: general - infrared: stars - planets and satellites: formation
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/745/147): table1.dat>