Fomalhaut is believed to be a young star, only 200 million years old. The surface temperature of the star is around 8500 Kelvin. Compared to Sol, its mass is about 2.3, its luminosity about 15, and its diameter roughly 1.7. It is surrounded by an enormous disk of dust in a toroidal shape (5 AU to 90 AU), is believed to be protoplanetary, and emits considerable infrared radiation. A planet, designated Fomalhaut b, has been inferred from analysis of the dust cloud in 1998.
Over history there have been a large number of variations on the star's name. It was first identified in pre-history and there is archaeological evidence that it was part of rituals in 2500s BCE in Persia.