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A friend of mine who can prnounce Arabic (taught it phentically to read the Qu'ran) says that the Arabic giving in the article would come out as roughly "tuahlamof" - maybe the letters were typed in backwards in the editor?

Arabic is written from right to left.

Similarity to the Eye of Sauron[edit]

The concentric rings around Fomalhaut on the picture from Hubble are artefacts from the coronagraph. These artefacts make the image similar to the Eye of Sauron. But without these artefacts, Fomalhaut system is only a single star surrounded by a dust ring. In my opinion, going from Fomalhaut through an image with artefacts to the Eye of Sauron is too far for this article. Hubble image caption should not contain link to the Eye of Sauron. Ghalas


well the resemblance is incontestably noteworthy: there was an article in New Scientist this week about it. I hear what you say about lens artefacts, but the fact is that many many mainstream news articles have commented on the resemblance, which is therefore noteworthy by definition. The article would be incomplete without some mention of it.

best wishes

Robinh 29 June 2005 10:16 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree with your reasoning. While it may be a fact that many news articles have commented on the resemblance, it is not enough to render it relevant; this is the strategy of tabloid newspapers, not encyclopedias. I'm willing to argue this further, but if there will be no objections, I'll remove the paragraph in a while. Naphra 23:04, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Removed. If someone wishes to revive the paragraph, I would like to suggest the (in my opinion much more approppriate) Star systems in fiction article for doing so. Naphra 03:43, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

A great Star, lidless, wreathed in flame. This evil is ever watchful. Simoncpu (talk) 03:40, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Trivia section[edit]

Fomalhaut is possibly the star that Frodo saw from Rivendell after the Councel of Elrond: The Hunter's Moon waxed round in the night sky, and put to flight all the lesser stars. But low in the South one star shone red. Every night, as the Moon waned again, it shone brighter and brighter. Frodo could see it from his window, deep in the heavens, burning like a watchful eye that glared above the trees on the brink of the valey. (Book two, chapter III The Ring Goes South.)

I've not been able to find any references to this on the internet. I would say it's probably unlikely to be Fomalhaut, since Fomalhaut is a white star and therefore doesn't fit the But low in the South one star shone red section. Richard B 19:06, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
Fomalhaut is white, but it is often described as a reddish star. At higher northern lattitudes, Fomalhaut never rises very high above the horizon, so there it may always seem red due atmospherical and optical effects. (Like sun, moon and other stars around rise or set.)
The statement that Fomalhaut might be the star of Rivendel is my personal opinion after thorough research on starmaps. This statement still needs some field observations for verification. Unfortunately last autumn was very cloudy; at any rate I have seen Capella, low in the Northeast and as red as Mars. To be continued in a next autumn.
Doesn't is my personal opinion after thorough research on.... contradict Wikipedia's no original research policy? Richard B 00:05, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I thought that that passage referred not to Formalhaut, or any other red star, but to Sauron's growing power in Mordor (due south from Rivendell). Sentinel75 05:34, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Might you mean a physical line-of-sight or something entirely symbolic? Corgi 21:33, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Regardless, the author of this passage said that it was his/her own original research, and I'm going to remove it. Feel free to revert if anyone can provide a published citation Richard B 22:06, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

In response to Corgi, Mordor is not due south from Rivendell. It is south-east from Rivendell. But the idea is interesting. Carcharoth 10:34, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Wouldn't the talk page of Star systems in fiction be a more approppriate place for this talk about a star system, in, uh, fiction? Naphra 23:10, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
For this, yes. For the fact that Fomalhaut was noted as "resembling" the Eye of Sauron in the media (see above discussion which Naphra also replied to), no, because that's not a "star system in fiction", that is a star system in popular culture, which is quite a different matter (fiction can be part of pop culture, but not all pop culture is fiction, as much as we may wish it was sometimes!). Why was this expunged from the article, really? Well, not the literary analysis stuff, because that's obvious bunk (Tolkien wrote LotR during World War I, people, before Hubble was even created). But the vaguely amusing, somewhat interesting fact that it's been compared to the Eye of Sauron, yes. It's probably the most buzz this thing got for centuries, and it is way more than most stars ever get as far as mentions in the news - how can you seriously argue against even the briefest (one or two sentences) of mentions of that fact? That makes no sense to me at all; generally notability is based on "is it covered in mainstream news" - this was, and it's not fiction, it's just referencing fiction, or rather, it's referencing other people's notable references to its resemblance to something fictional, which is so far removed from "reference in fiction", that your argument for its inclusion in the article on just that just seems increasingly strange to me. I'd just like to see a better argument (assuming you're even still responding on here) than "let's insert a rhetorical question as if that satisfies any potential arguments". Why do you think the media comparisons of the images of it to the Eye of Sauron definitely should not be included in a very brief, cited reference? Because I have yet to see very strong arguments supporting the information's removal from you, let alone very strong arguments for including it in an article that has nothing to do with it.
Please do sign your comments. Now I don't know who you are or are you still responding.
The rhetorical question wasn't addressing the inclusion of the Eye of Sauron reference; it was directed at the misplaced talk about a fictional star system. Also, including the reference in the Star systems in fiction -article was just a suggestion; I welcome better suggestions.
I'm quite certain that the Eye of Sauron reference isn't the most buzz Fomalhaut has got for centuries or even decades, but I sufficiently can't argue that any more than you can argue the opposite.
As for arguments, I offer you the following quote from WP:Notability:
Notability is not temporary. A short burst of present news coverage about a topic does not necessarily constitute objective evidence of long-term notability.
The article does continue, though, that:
Notability guidelines give guidance on whether a topic is notable enough to be included in Wikipedia as a separate article, but do not specifically regulate the content of articles, which is governed by other guidelines such as those on using reliable sources and on handling trivia. The particular topics and facts within an article are not each required to meet the standards of the notability guidelines.
But as there really is nothing else of interest in the Eye of Sauron reference (say, that the Eye of Sauron actually was modeled after Fomalhaut) other than that such a reference has been made, I don't see how the reference would satisfy criteria for notability (in particular as trivia sections are discouraged).
Also, please don't assume, as you seem to, that I rigidly feel that the reference "definitely should not be included" (in particular when I explicitly state my willingness to hear arguments against my position); this is an iterative medium, and I am well aware of that. Please assume good faith. --Naphra (talk) 20:45, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


"Bears no known resemblance to any dark entities" ... That's funny.

First exoplanet visually detected?[edit]

Science magazines may boast and brawl, but there's at least 50% chance that Fomalhaut b is not the first visually detected one. First of all: it's detected in IR, but we may ignore that for being pedantery; secondly: the planets around HR 8799 were discovered about the same time; thirdly: if I'm remembering correctly rough planets have been detected by IR before, so maybe both Fomalhaut and HR 8799 disqualify ... Said: Rursus () 08:08, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Skip that about IR. If Fomalhaut was the first exoplanet detected in visual (c:a 350-700nm), then my complaint is invalid. I'll take a look. L8R. Said: Rursus () 08:13, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

"Furthest in angular distance"?[edit]

"Until about March 2000, Fomalhaut and Achernar were the two first magnitude stars furthest in angular distance from any other first magnitude star in the celestial sphere. Antares, in the constellation of Scorpius, is now the most isolated first magnitude star."

Sorry, I don't understand that sentence. 1) Why both, Fomalhaut and Achernar? 2) What is the reason, that Antares is now (for the last 8 years) the most isolated first magnitude star. Is the apparant movements of the stars so high? Is it only by chance, that that happened only since 2000? --FrancescoA (talk) 10:24, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

That entire paragraph is somewhat on the trivial side, and it looks like it would be hard to cite.—RJH (talk) 20:59, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
That entire paragraph, besides being unsourced, was revolting, the stupidest affirmation ever to be found in a Wikipedia article on Astronomy. I removed it, for the following reasons:
  • Stars do not move across the Celestial Sphere at hyperlight speeds, or as if they were planets. Hence, no star has changed "angular distance" perceptibly, not even in the course of hundreds of lifetimes.
  • Neither Fomalhaut, Achernar, nor Antares have perceptibly changed their respective magnitudes (neither absolute nor relative) in the last hundred milennia, so as to deserve to have their status as "first magnitude" stars changed. (and, by the way, changed by whom?)
  • What exactly is supposed to have happened on March 2000? A cosmic upheaval? Or, more probably, whoever wrote that blunder changed his/her glasses?
Therefore, said statement was not only baseless, but was also an insult to the public, and to members of the Scientific Community presumably looking at a Wikipedia article. --AVM (talk) 22:45, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
What is exactly is a First Magnitude star? The linked page doesn't define it; it should. Should this link be directed to Apparent magnitude instead? Pulu (talk) 05:28, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Sounded like a good idea to me, Pulu. I changed the link as per your suggestion. Tonyrex (talk) 06:49, 17 November 2008 (UTC)


Is the disc actually thought to be protoplanetary? At 200 million years old, Fomalhaut seems to be much older than the typical system undergoing planet formation. Furthermore the disc is depleted in gas, hence its description as a "debris disk". Circumstellar discs are not necessarily protoplanetary, e.g. the dust disks around our own star, which do not indicate ongoing planet formation. Icalanise (talk) 18:49, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


Are there any images which actually show Fomalhaut itself available that could be used in this article? It is somewhat amusing that the image in the starbox has the star itself hidden behind an occulter. Icalanise (talk) 23:09, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Brown dwarf companion[edit]

The text regarding the postulated brown dward companion seems irrelevant. The anomalous disk characteristics are interesting and factual, but to build up a strawman explanation and then knock it down doesn't really serve much purpose except to confuse the lay reader. Perew (talk) 13:06, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah sorry it's one of those "event in progress" things. As for it being a strawman, it was a solution that was proposed in one paper, it was a new set of results that came to light after the first paper made its arXiv debut that disproved it. More a rapidly-disproven hypothesis than a strawman. Icalanise (talk) 15:33, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

significant figures[edit]

I corrected a mistake in significant figures in the article, and gave an explanation in the comment field for my edit. User Blue Earth undid my edit without explanation. I'm reverting. Blue Earth, please comment here before reverting again. As explained in the comment on my edit, it seems obvious to me that giving the star's surface temperature to four sig figs is simply an incorrect use of significant figures. (talk) 17:03, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

The reference cited for the temperature value gives four significant figures. If we're going to use a given reference for the temperature, we should use the temperature as given by the reference. Icalanise (talk) 22:41, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

The Lonely Star of Autumn?[edit]

The following explanation in the 'Etymology and cultural' significance section is incorrect...

"Another name in Western use is "the Lonely Star of Autumn", because it is the only first-magnitude star in the autumn sky of mid-northern latitudes."

Altair is another first-magnitude star that's visible at the same time as Fomalhaut, as is Vega, which is even brighter. And in early autumn, Arcturus accompanies Fomalhaut in the evening sky, followed by Capella in late autumn, both significantly brighter than Fomalhaut.

A more correct explanation:

"Another name in Western use is "the Lonely Star of Autumn", because Fomalhaut is the only first-magnitude star in the southern sky in autumn, visible from mid-northern latitudes." Ginahoy (talk) 06:16, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

I have never heard this as a "name" in use. Sounds more like someone's planetarium show description... A search for the phrase "lonely star of autumn" turns up nothing in all books via
So this qualifies as unsourced and should be deleted. Note that there are at least two recent books which use this "alternate name" however they draw their information from Wikipedia itself. (talk) 16:21, 8 October 2015 (UTC)
Gone. Lithopsian (talk) 16:31, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

Orbit of Fomalhaut b[edit]

Orbit in the table looks like it is still using the elements from when the object was thought to be in a ring-shepherd orbit. Current information is that the orbit is highly eccentric. I am aware of two orbit determinations with the elements, [1] gives (a, e) = (177 ± 68 AU, 0.8 ± 0.1) and [2] giving (81 – 193 AU, 0.82 – 0.98) at 1σ confidence. (talk) 21:14, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Merge proposal 04 Jul 2014[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of the discussion was merge. (talk) 10:26, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

I propose that the article TW Piscis Austrini is merged into this article. The star is a confirmed member of the Fomalhaut system and mostly attracts attention in that context. The TW Piscis Austrini article is very short and therefore merging it here would not unbalance the Fomalhaut article but enhance the opportunity to discuss the Fomalhaut system as a whole. (talk) 17:16, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Support, since TW PsA is confirmed as a member of the system, and there is no need to have a separate article. StringTheory11 (t • c) 17:26, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Hmmm, could go either way on this one. TW is just barely visible with the unaided eye...but agree that all that is notable about it really is that it is a part of this system. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 10:40, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Is there anybody who can add an International Pronunciation for this name? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

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