Binary central stars

Orsola De Marco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Only a handful of binary central stars of planetary nebulae (PNe) are known today, due to the difficulty of detecting their companions. Preliminary results from radial velocity surveys, however, seem to indicate that binarity plays a fundamental, rather than marginal role in the evolution of PNe and that the close binary fraction might be much larger than the currently known value of 10-15%. In this review, we list all the known binary central stars, giving an updated census of their numbers and selected characteristics. A review is also given of the techniques used to detect binaries as well as selected characteristics of related stellar classes which might provide constraints (or additional puzzles) to the theory of PN evolution. Finally, we will formulate the conjecture that all PNe derive from binary interactions and suggest that this is not inconsistent with our current knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
Issue number234
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

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