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The Mote in Sauron's Eye
January 9, 2013 12:39 AM   Subscribe

Fomalhaut is a magnitude 1.16 star in the "Piscis Austrinis" or "Southen Fish," and one of the first stars discovered with an extrasolar planet (previously). It has been dubbed "The Eye of Sauron" after a stunning picture taken in 2008 of its debris ring. There was some controversy about the exoplanet, dubbed "Fomalhaut b" though as it turns out, its orbit is stranger than expected.
posted by the man of twists and turns (13 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
its orbit is stranger than expected.

I was really hoping for a rectangle there.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:06 AM on January 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


*sighs* oh the many trading runs I made to Fomalhaut back in the day.....AND I WILL AGAIN!!!!
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 1:44 AM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, I am a big fan of orbital resonances. I get totally sucked in to watching models of orbits. Late Heavy Bombardment anyone?
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 1:53 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


You've got to market these things. Fomalhaut wasn't anything until it changed its name to "Eye of Sauron".

Now it's a Star.

But I like Sauron. I look forward to Fomalhaut B - Son of Sauron
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:56 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Please note that I discovered the Eye of Sauron, and photographed it, years ago

/ or, that's a close up of my little Siamese Cat's eye... I can't remember which.
posted by HuronBob at 3:23 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not an eccentric orbit! Fomalhaut is blinking!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:58 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I misread the title: I was sure this was going to be about Blakes 7.

And I always read Fomalhaut as Formalhaut. Personally I prefer the sister planet informalhaut.
posted by marienbad at 6:11 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


The news here for me is that we've directly imaged an extrasolar planet, which I hadn't realized. Super-cool.
posted by eugenen at 7:47 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


And I always read Fomalhaut as Formalhaut

No, no, not Formalhaut. marienbad, you're thinking of FormalHut, where stout astronomers rent tuxedos for the big event where NASA names their new-found star after them. Common mistake, don't feel bad!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:55 AM on January 9, 2013


Homemade Interossiter: "*sighs* oh the many trading runs I made to Fomalhaut back in the day.....AND I WILL AGAIN!!!!"

One does not simply... walk into Fomalhaut B!
posted by Mister_A at 8:17 AM on January 9, 2013


> "The news here for me is that we've directly imaged an extrasolar planet, which I hadn't realized. Super-cool."

We've actually directly imaged somewhere around 10 now. For some reason, this doesn't seem widely known; I'm not sure why that is.

Here are some.
posted by kyrademon at 11:34 AM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


No mention of orbits would be complete without mentioning J002E3, thought to be the Saturn S-IVB stage of Apollo 12.

(click on the thumbnail of the orbit, you'll be glad you did)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:28 PM on January 9, 2013


Hmmm. . . Wired calls it a "rogue planet." But isn't a rogue planet one that doesn't orbit any star? This one is just eccentric and inclined.
posted by General Tonic at 3:55 PM on January 9, 2013


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