Fomalhaut star system is a triple | Science News

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Fomalhaut star system is a triple

Fomalhaut A (center) tugs not only on a debris ring (orange circle) but also a planet and two other stars (not shown).

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Planets and debris aren’t the only things gravitationally bound to Fomalhaut A, a star twice the mass of the sun that sits 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. It turns out that not one but two other stars are also in its clutches. Astronomers describe the triple star system in a paper posted October 3 on arXiv.org and accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal. The team notes that the Fomalhaut triple system is one of the most massive and widest among multiple-star systems closest to Earth. The discovery of the new star in the system may help explain the eccentric orbit of the contentious exoplanet Fomalhaut b.

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