Fomalhaut is a star in the Southern Hemisphere in the constellation Piscis Austrinus at 03°52′ Pisces. It travels about three degrees and thirty minutes each year.
It is estimated at 440 million years old. By comparison, Earth’s sun is about 4.5 billion years old. But when it comes to size, Fomalhaut has the sun beat. The ring is approximately 20 billion kilometers from the central star and about 2 billion kilometers wide or twice the mass of our sun.
The featured image is typically what Fomalhaut looks like, the “icy” Fomalhaut is a composite picture from optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope; the dark region is a coronagraphic mask, which filtered out the otherwise overwhelming light of the central star.¹
Sir William Herschel thought Fomalhaut was a comet, and later discovered he was not viewing the fixed star but the planet Uranus.
Fomalhaut was the object of sunrise worship in the temple of Demeter at Eleusis in 500 B.C. and they called it the “great Sea” in the Sky, while the Arabians called these four the “tent” or “home” of the galaxy.
Fomalhaut has an orb of 2°30′. According to Ptolemy, Fomalhaut has the nature of Venus and Mercury and is fortunate and powerful. Jerome Cardan stated that together with the stars rising with 12 Gemini it gives an immortal name.
Fomalhaut rules the heel of the right foot in the human body or the Achilles Heel and is one of the four “royal” stars of astrology. The others are Regulus, Antares, and Aldebaran.
The Picture of Icy Fomalhaut is credited to ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), M. MacGregor; NASA/ESA Hubble, P. Kalas; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF) via the Night Sky Telescope Magazine.