There is no quantitative theory to explain why a high 80% of all planetary nebulae are non-spherical. The Binary Hypothesis states that a companion to the progenitor of a central star of planetary nebula is required to shape the nebula and even for a planetary nebula to be formed at all. A way to test this hypothesis is to estimate the binary fraction of central stars of planetary nebulae and to compare it with that of the main sequence population. Preliminary results from photometric variability and the infrared excess techniques indicate that the binary fraction of central stars of planetary nebulae is higher than that of the main sequence, implying that PNe could preferentially form via a binary channel.
I will show new photometric results resulting from the analysis of an extended sample, yielding an up-to-date binary fraction of central stars of planetary nebulae.