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.
Zeta Reticuli is a wide visual binary of two yellow stars:
5.3, 5.6; PA 217º, 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 5º, separation 3.9".
Gamma Reticuli is a semi-regular: 4.42-4.64 every 25 days or
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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© Richard Dibon-Smith.