P. Kalas and J. Graham/UC Berkeley, M. Clampin, GSFC, NASA, ESA
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.