The Toad

Origin:John Hill, 1754

John Hill (c.1714–1775) was an eighteenth-century British botanist and natural philosopher. In 1754, he published an astronomy dictionary entitled Urania, or A Compleat View of the Heavens. (This is a year before Samuel Johnson's celebrated A Dictionary of the English Language.) Over the course of 650 pages he discussed or defined numerous astronomical terms, often including pithy comments about the subject matter. He also invented 15 new constellations of his own, each modestly introduced as a "constellation offered to the astronomical world". Given that he was offering up celestial eels and earthworms and slugs, it's not entirely certain that he was serious. Bufo is one of John Hill’s creations. Hill describes it as "a small asterism, for the space which it occupies in the heavens, it contains a fair portion of stars; these have always been considered as a conspicuous cluster; and it is wonderful that they have not before been arranged under the form of some animal, in the manner of those clusters which form the Lynx, and the others." Bufo is located between Libra and Hydra. The star, Brachium (σ Lib), the brightest in this constellation, is said to represent the toad's eye.

The extinct constellation of Bufo