Fomalhaut


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Fomalhaut

(fō`məlhôt'), brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus (southern fish); Bayer designation Alpha Piscis Austrini; 1992 position R.A. 22h57.3m, Dec. −29°39'. A white, main-sequence star of spectral classspectral class,
in astronomy, a classification of the stars by their spectrum and luminosity. In 1885, E. C. Pickering began the first extensive attempt to classify the stars spectroscopically.
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 A3 V, its apparent magnitudemagnitude,
in astronomy, measure of the brightness of a star or other celestial object. The stars cataloged by Ptolemy (2d cent. A.D.), all visible with the unaided eye, were ranked on a brightness scale such that the brightest stars were of 1st magnitude and the dimmest stars
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 of 1.16 makes it one of the 20 brightest stars in the sky. Fomalhaut is one of the nearer bright stars, lying at a distance of 25 light-years. The star, also known as Fomalhaut A, is part of a triple-star system. Images made in 2004 and 2006 by the Hubble Space Telescope were believed to show a planet orbiting the star, but subsequent study has questioned that interpretation. The star's name is from the Arabic meaning "mouth of the southern fish."
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Fomalhaut

(foh -măl-hawt) (α PsA) A white star that is the brightest in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. In 1983 the infrared satellite IRAS detected a shell of cool matter surrounding this star. The shell, which has a temperature of about 50 K, is thought to be solid material orbiting the star and forming a protoplanetary system. See also Vega. mv : 1.16; Mv : 2.0; spectral type: A3 V; distance: 6.7 pc.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fomalhaut

 

(also a Piscis Austrinus), the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. With a visual stellar magnitude of 1.2, Fomalhaut is 14 times brighter than the sun. It is located at a distance of seven parsecs from the sun.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Fomalhaut

[′fō·mə‚lȯt]
(astronomy)
α Piscis Australis
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hubble Space Telescope images revealed that the ring of dust surrounding Fomalhaut was off-center.
Fomalhaut, about 200 million years old and 26 light-years from Earth, appears to be surrounded by a disk roughly centered on a cavity that may have been cleared by planets.
Fomalhaut has been a candidate for planet hunting ever since an excess of dust was discovered around the star in the early 1980s by the US- UK-Dutch Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS).
Fomalhaut, Beta Pictoris, and our own sun are main-sequence stars because they fuse hydrogen into helium to generate energy.
The first three relatively nearby main-sequence stars with imaged planets all belong to spectral type A: HR 8799, Fomalhaut, and Beta Pictoris.
Ironically, little Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish, possesses a "big" star in 1st-magnitude Fomalhaut.
Even the dim Fomalhaut Hour has the bright Summer Triangle in the west connected by a Milky-Way-backed arc of constellations stretching to bright Auriga and Taurus in the northeast and east-northeast.
Finally, HST produced the first direct visible-light image of a planet orbiting another star--the bright southern star Fomalhaut (S&T: March 2009, page 22).
A single fish lies lower right of Cetus, far below the Circlet and the Square, but Piscis Austrinus is uninteresting save for 1st-magnitude Fomalhaut, which means "Mouth of the Fish."
One of IRAS's most surprising discoveries was the finding by Fred Gillett (Kitt Peak National Observatory) and George Aumann (JPL) that some familiar stars such as Vega and Fomalhaut have excess emission at 25 microns.
For example, infrared satellite observatories--which can see into the dusty birthplaces of stars--revealed cold disks of gas and dust orbiting many familiar stars like Vega, Fomalhaut, and Beta Pictoris.
Fomalhaut shines at magnitude 1.17 (almost identical to Pollux) and is located 25 light-years from Earth (almost identical to Vega's distance).