Fomalhaut

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Missing image
Fomalhaut_ring_hst_2004.jpg
Debris ring around Fomalhaut imaged by Hubble Space Telescope's coronagraph

Fomalhaut (α PsA / α Piscis Austrini / Alpha Piscis Austrini) is the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus and one of the brightest stars in the nighttime sky. Its name means "mouth of the whale", from the Arabic فم الحوت fum al-ħūt. It is a class A star on the main sequence approximately 25 light-years (7.688 parsecs) from Earth.

A first-magnitude star, Fomalhaut is farther from any other first-magnitude star in the celestial sphere than any other first-magnitude star in the sky.

Fomalhaut is believed to be a young star, only 200 million years old. The surface temperature of the star is around 8500 kelvins. Compared to the Sun, its mass is about 2.3, its luminosity is about 15, and its diameter is roughly 1.7.

It is surrounded by a disk of dust in a toroidal shape with a very sharp inner edge at a radial distance of 133 AU, inclined 24 degrees from edge-on. The dust is distributed in a belt about 25 AU wide; the geometric centre of the disk is offset by about 15 AU from Fomelhaut. The disk is sometimes referred to as "Fomalhaut's Kuiper belt".

Fomalhaut's disk is believed to be protoplanetary, and emits considerable infrared radiation. A planet, designated Fomalhaut b, has been inferred from analysis of the dust cloud in 1998.

(ref: Nature 435, 1067-1070 (23 June 2005) | doi: 10.1038/nature03601).

Over history there have been a large number of variations on the star's name. It was first identified in pre-history and there is archaeological evidence that it was part of rituals in 2500s BCE in Persia where it would have been one of the Persians' four "royal stars". In the religion of Stregheria, Fomalhaut is a fallen angel and quarter guardian of the northern gate.

it:Fomalhaut ja:フォーマルハウト fi:Fomalhaut

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