/foh"meuhl hawt', -meuh loh'/, n. Astron.a star of the first magnitude and the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus.[1585-95; < SpAr fam al-hawt mouth of the fish; so called from its position in the constellation]
* * *▪ staralso called Alpha Piscis Austrinithe 17th star (excluding the Sun) in order of apparent brightness. It is used in navigation because of its conspicuous place in a sky region otherwise lacking in bright stars. It lies in the southern constellation Piscis Austrinus, 25 light-years (light-year) from Earth. A white star, it has an apparent magnitude of 1.16. A sixth-magnitude companion star, HR 8721, is yellow and orbits at a distance of about 0.9 light-year. A belt of dust orbits between 19.9 and 23.6 billion km (12.4 and 14.7 billion miles) from the star. Images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004 and 2006 showed a planet, Fomalhaut b, orbiting inside the dust belt at a distance of 17.8 billion km (11.1 billion miles) from the star. These were the first confirmed images of an extrasolar planet. The planet has a mass three times that of Jupiter and an orbital period of 872 years.Fomalhaut was associated with the Roman goddess Ceres (associated with the analogous Sicilian and Greek goddess Demeter) and was worshipped; in astrology it is one of four royal stars.
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