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Fum al Samakah

Beta Piscium, 4 Piscium

Fum al Samakah is a star belonging to the western of the two fishes depicted by the constellation Pisces. It is the westernmost star of the constellation that is clearly visible to the naked eye, a little to the west of the loose hexagon that makes up the fish's body. Its Arabic name Fum al Samakah means the 'mouth of the fish', reflecting the fact that the fish is swimming out westwards towards neighbouring Pegasus.

Fum al Samakah is a hot blue star 492 light years from Earth, and like all the stars of its home constellation it is rather faint, with a magnitude just above +4.5. This magnitude in fact varies between +4.51 and +4.55, because of the star's structure. Fum al Samakah is a shell star: a rapidly rotating body creating a disc of matter at its equator. The rotational pattern of this star is unstable, causing it to increase and decrease in brightness as viewed from Earth.


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