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Fomalhaut (fōˈməlhôtˌ) [key], 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 class A3 V, its apparent magnitude 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."

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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