Along with Beta Pic and Vega, Fomalhaut was known since 1984 to be surrounded by dust. But unlike Beta Pic, various searches failed to show the dust in reflected light, partly because Fomalhaut is one of the brightest stars in the sky. Finally, in 2004 I detected a hint of scattered light from dust in a single image of Fomalhaut from HST (Program 9862). By 2005 we had obtained additional data using Hubble, and found that Fomalhaut's dust is confined to a narrow ring sculpted by a planetary perturbation.
Please click here to browse through the press release text, photographs, and illustrations from NASA. Click here for the press release from UC Berkeley.