Close binaries with infrared excess: destroyers of worlds?
MATRANGA M., DRAKE J.J., KASHYAP V.L., MARENGO M. and KUCHNER M.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the results of a Spitzer photometric investigation into the IR excesses of close binary systems. In a sample of 10 objects, excesses in Infrared Array Camera and MIPS24 bands implying the presence of warm dust are found for 3. For two objects, we do not find excesses reported in earlier IRAS studies. We discuss the results in the context of the scenario suggested by Rhee and co-workers, in which warm dust is continuously created by destructive collisions between planetary bodies. A simple numerical model for the steady-state distribution of dust in one IR excess system shows a central clearing of radius 0.22 AU caused by dynamical perturbations from the binary star. This is consistent with the size of the central clearing derived from the Spitzer spectral energy distribution. We conclude that close binaries could be efficient "destroyers of worlds" and lead to destabilization of the orbits of their planetary progeny by magnetically driven angular momentum loss and secular shrinkage of the binary separation.
binaries: close - circumstellar matter - infrared: stars - stars: individual (AR Psc, II Peg, UX Ari)