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Subaru Telescope Uncovers a Misaligned Jet in a Binary Star System

Mitaka, Japan – September 25, 2007:   A new image of a young (less than a million years old) binary star system called XZ Tauri, taken using the Coronagraphic Imager with Adaptive Optics (CIAO) on the Subaru Telescope, reveals for the first time a jet of material streaming away from the pair's primary star.
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  An earlier observation made by Hubble Space Telescope showed a jet streaming from the secondary. This new jet is misaligned with the secondary jet by about 30 degrees.

The discoveries of jets coming from both of these young stars suggests that they could each have a circumstellar disk with sites of planetary formation hidden inside. The jets are formed as gas from the disks is channeled through magnetic fields surrounding the binary system and forced out to space at high speed. Their misalignment may indicate some intricate interaction between the two stars and their disks.
XZ Tau The binary star XZ Tau.
 Image:  Subaru Telescope
Science With Adaptive Optics, Brandner

Previous News:  
The Becklin-Neugebauer Object: Circumstellar Disk Cradles Young Massive Star, Aug 2005.

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