Star Names:

Reticulum


Map of The Constellation of Reticulum
Please hover over any star to get more information
Reticulum is a very small constellation in the southern hemisphere. It was named after the reticle, a crosshair net used for precise alignment of a telescope eyepiece and to measure star positions. The constellation was created by the Swiss clockmaker Isaac Habrecht in 1621. He named it Rhombus. The French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille later renamed it to Reticulum, to commemorate the reticle in his own eyepiece, one that helped him create his famous star catalogue. The constellation was officially recognized in 1922 at the First General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union.

The constellation Reticulum occupies an area of 114 square degrees and contains four stars with known planets. It can be seen at latitudes between +23° and -90° and is best visible at 9 p.m. during the month of January.

The brightest star in Reticulum is [7242] alpha Reticuli, a G-type bright giant, approximately 163 light-years distant.

[7243] beta Reticuli is a triple star system. The main component is a class K subgiant with a visual magnitude of 3.84. It lies about 100 light-years from Earth.

R Reticuli or S Reticuli (HD 29383) is a Mira variable, reddish in colour and approximately 5,000 light-years distant.

[7244] epsilon Reticuli is a binary star system consisting of an orange subgiant and a white dwarf, approximately 59 light-years distant. The primary star has an extrasolar planet in its orbit.

[7252]-[7249] zeta Reticuli is another binary star, approximately 39 light-years distant. It can be seen with the naked eye. Both components are yellow-orange main sequence dwarfs and part of the Zeta Herculis Moving Group. [7252] zeta-1 Reticuli is one of the target stars for NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder project.

Reticulum contains a notable deep sky object. The barred spiral galaxy 1559 is a very intense star forming region. It has two massive spiral arms and its disk and bar send very strong radio emissions. A type 1a supernova, a violent explosion of a white dwarf that is also a cataclysmic variable star, was discovered in the galaxy in 2005.

Reticulum belongs to the Lacaille family of constellations, along with Norma, Circinus, Telescopium, Microscopium, Sculptor, Fornax, Caelum, Horologium, Octans, Mensa, Pictor and Antlia.

Constellations directly bordering Reticulum are Horologium, Dorado and Hydrus.




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