XZ Tauri is a binary system separated by 0.3 arcsec and comprised of a T Tauri star (XZ Tau S) and a red, perhaps protostellar, companion (XZ Tau N). Infrared and radio observations indicated the presence of circumstellar material, probably a protostellar disk. Evidence of a bipolar jet extending to 10 arcsec from the system was detected by Mundt et al. (1988, 1990). Infrared interferometric observations by Haas et al. (1990) revealed the binary nature of the system and showed that XZ Tau N is brighter in the infrared than its T Tauri-type companion. XZ Tau is 140 pc away (1" = 140 AU).
We obtained R and I band images of XZ Tau on the Planetary Camera in 1995 during observations of nearby HL Tau. The two stars were clearly resolved. XZ Tau S is brighter in visible wavelengths than the redder XZ Tau N. In the R band image a bubble of nebulosity is seen extending out to 4.3 arcsec to the North of the system. Since the bubble is not seen in the I band image, this is a emission nebula. A bright, compact knot is inside the bubble, probably a jet knot.
We subtracted the stellar point-spread-functions (PSFs) using both observed and Tiny Tim model PSFs. This showed more nebulosity closer to the stars, as well as another jet knot. The image shown is the F675W exposure, with a Tiny Tim PSF subtracted. Crosses mark the positions of the two stars. North is to the upper right.
A paper by Krist et al. describing the observations was published in the Astrophysical Journal (v.481, p.447, May 1997).
Image processing and web page by firstname.lastname@example.org (John Krist)