R is a difficult one for the A-Z heavenly body challenge. There is only one of the eighty-eight modern constellations that begins with an R, Reticulum. To my ears, the name sounds like something a physician might utilize in a prostate exam. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about having it staring me in the face when I am admiring the stars as the constellation cannot be seen at all from the continental United States. You might get a glimpse of it in the southern Hawaiian Islands from October through December, but even then it’s going to be low on the southern horizon. The constellation is not seen at all above latitude 23 degrees north.
Like many of the southern hemisphere constellations, Reticulum is a relatively recent addition to the lists of constellations. It was identified in the early 17th Century, but not added to the official list of constellations until 1922. There are no stories or myths associated with these group of faint stars that supposedly represents a net. However, it’s not a fishnet, but the gird lines within a telescope, the reticle. And good luck with seeing this constellation, especially without a telescope. There are only six of the stars with a magnitude bright enough to be seen by the eye without magnification, and none of them are very bright.
In 2022, the constellation will officially be 100 years old? Shall we throw a party? We could all dress up like urologists. On second thought, I’m sure I have something else scheduled. What about you? Would you be interested in a party celebrating Reticulum’s centennial?