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Fum al Samakah, Beta Piscium, 4 Piscium

Fumalsamakah 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 comes from fum al samakah, 'mouth of the fish', reflecting the fact that the fish is swimming out westwards towards neighbouring Pegasus.

Fumalsamakah is a hot blue star 408 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. Fumalsamakah 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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