(Submitted February 28, 1998)
I would like some information about the star Fomalhaut.
All I need is an address to a good information page or
something like that.
Fomalhaut is the 17th brightest star in the sky and is in the southern
hemisphere constellation Piscis Austrinus (The Southern Fish), so it is
also called Alpha Piscis Austrini.
Piscis Austrinus is not a well known constellation because the rest of
the constellation is rather dim.
According to Peterson's Field Guide, Fomalhaut is "a bright white star
whose brilliance in intensified by the comparative darkness of the
starless background. Alpha Piscis Austrini is also called Fomalhaut, a
name derived from the Arabic for "mouth of the fish." At magnitude 1.16,
Fomalhaut is the 18th brightest star in the sky. To northern-hemisphere
observers it is visible in autumn, low above the horizon, in an empty
region of the southern sky." It is mere 23 light-years away.
Its luminosity is 14 times that of our sun. Like the Sun, it does not
have a gravitationally bound partner.
Try looking this star up in other observational astronomy books!
Maggie Masetti, Karen Smale & Jonathan Keohane
for Ask an Astrophysicist
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