HV Tau is the second young multiple system in which a circumstellar disk around a component has been resolved at near-IR wavelengths, the first one being HK Tau (Stapelfeldt et al. 1998). If HV Tau C is actually bound to HV Tau AB, this may be the first instance of a circumtertiary disk in a young system. It is likely that circumstellar disks in multiple systems are common, but only nearly edge-on structures are easily seen at optical wavelengths. As soon as the disk inclination decreases below about , direct light from the central star overwhelms the scattered light from the disk upper layers.
The serendipitous discovery of HV Tau C disk reported here in the course of another program devoted to young binaries needs to be followed up. Deeper images are being obtained at several wavelengths which will allow a full disk model to be developped and confronted with high S/N observations in order to derive more accurate disk properties than the preliminary estimates presented here.
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000
Online publication: April 17, 2000