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Fomalhaut (Alpha PsA)

This image shows Fomalhaut, the star around which a newly discovered planet orbits.
Fomalhaut is much hotter than our Sun, 15 times as bright, and lies 25 light-years from Earth in the constellation Piscis Austrinus (the Southern Fish).
Fomalhaut has been a candidate for planet hunting ever since an excess of dust was discovered around the star in the nearly 1980s by the US-UK-Dutck Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS).
Fomalhaut is blazing through hydrogen at such a furious rate that it will burn out in only one billion years, 10% the lifespan of our star.

The color image seen here is based on data coming from photographic plates taken between 1977 and 1991 by the Anglo-Australian Observatory's 48-inches (1.2 meters) UK Schmidt Telescope as part of a sky survey. Photographic plates from this survey have been digitized by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). Credit: Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO), Digitized Sky Survey.

The image shows an area of sky large 2.7 2.9 with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel (for comparison, the full-Moon has a diameter of about 0.5). Color composite, copyright: Davide De Martin.

Available for Museum, Planetariums, Publishers and Authors in very high-resolution (98 megapixels). Please, e-mail me with your request.


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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.