Reticulum

Reticulum


Transit Date of principal star:
24 November


Reticulum was introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the mid 1700s, meant to commemorate the reticle, an instrument used by Lacaille to measure star positions.

Reticulum is a very small and rather bleak constellation, with stars in the third to fifth magnitude range.


Double stars:

Zeta Reticuli is a wide visual binary of two yellow stars: 5.3, 5.6; PA 217, separation 309.2".

In 1961 a couple from New Hampshire, Barney and Betty Hill, claimed aliens from zeta Reticuli abducted Barney over a two-hour period; this became one of the most seriously-studied cases of alien abduction and has become known as the Zeta Reticuli Incident. The University of New Hampshire owns Betty Hill's collected memorabilia of the incident.

Theta Reticuli: 6.0, 7.7; PA 5, separation 3.9".


Variable stars:

Gamma Reticuli is a semi-regular: 4.42-4.64 every 25 days or so.


Deep Sky Objects:

NGC 1559 is a large and fairly bright spiral galaxy seen face on. It's a Seyfert galaxy (i.e. it's a source of significant nonthermal emissions, such as x-rays and ultaviolet). The galaxy is found between alpha and theta Ret.


For a more detailed appreciation of Reticulum, visit the Binocular Section.


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