Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 April 2012
In order to trace the role of binarity for disk evolution and hence planet formation, we started the currently largest spatially resolved near-infrared photometric and spectroscopic study of the inner dust and accretion disks of the individual components of 27 visual, 100–400 AU binaries in the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC). We study the frequency of Brackett-γ (2.165μm) emitters to assess the frequency of accretion disk-bearing stars among the binaries of the ONC: only 34±9% of the binary components show signs of accretion and, hence, the presence of gaseous inner disks—less than the fraction of gas accretion disks among single stars of the ONC of ~50%. Additionally, we find a significant difference between binaries above and below 200 AU separation: no close systems with only one accreting component are found. The results suggest shortened disk lifetimes as well as synchronized disk evolution.