light-hour n.

the distance light travels in one hour

  • 1920 E.Q. Adams More Nearly Rational System of Units in Science 3 Dec. 527/1

    Astronomic units of distance now in use, ‘light second’, ‘light hour’, etc., are commensurable with the units proposed, the first being one billion times the fundamental unit of length.

  • 1931 J. Schlossel Extra-galactic Invaders in Amazing Stories Quarterly Spring 276/2 page image J. Schlossel bibliography

    Nearer swept those two fleets, nearer and nearer. Twenty light-hours separated those onrushing forces, nineteen light-hours, eighteen light-hours, still were the weapons on the ships rushing outward from the galaxy silent.

  • 1931 J. W. Campbell Islands of Space in Amazing Stories Quarterly Spring 187/2 page image John W. Campbell, Jr. bibliography

    When those two suns crash—well, we would never be able to escape if the space control breaks down before we are at least two light hours away!

  • 1945 F. Brown Waveries in Astounding Science Fiction Jan. 136/1 Fredric Brown

    If a broadcasting station sends out a program of one second’s duration, the length of the wave carrying that program is one light-second, or 186,270 miles. A half-hour program is on a continuous wave, as it were, one half light-hour long, and so on.

  • 1967 J. Blish Star Trek 60 James Blish

    Bearing 973 galactic east, distance one point three light hours.

  • 1974 J. Haldeman Forever War (1976) 204 Joe Haldeman bibliography

    They wheeled around to intercept the second cruiser, by then a few light-hours away, still being harassed by fifteen enemy drones.

  • 1983 M. McCollum Life Probe ix. 87 Michael McCollum

    You come up with a figure of seven hundred twenty light-hours, right?

  • 2000 A. Reynolds Revelation Space (2001) 354 Alastair Reynolds bibliography

    It was dark, too: Delta Pavonis was ten light-hours away, and the other nearby star—Hades—offered almost no light at all.

  • 2002 D. Weber War of Honor 489 David Weber

    ‘Here’ proved to be a spot in space approximately five and a half light-hours from an unremarkable looking, planetless M8 red dwarf.

  • 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iv. 121 Charles Stross

    Unexpected fringe riders are developing new ecological niches on the edge of the human information space, light-minutes and light-hours from the core, as an expansion that has hung fire since the 1970s gets under way.


Research requirements

antedating 1920

Earliest cite

Eliot Q. Adams, "A More Nearly Rational System of Units"

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1945 cite from Fredric Brown's "The Waveries".
Michael Dolbear submitted a 2002 cite from David Weber's "War of Honor".
Ralf Brown submitted a cite from a 1979 reprint of Robert Silverberg's 1971 "Son of Man".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Michael McCollum's "Life Probe".
Malcolm Farmer submitted a cite from a 2001 reprint of Alastair Reynolds' 2000 "Revelation Space".
Fred Galvin submitted cites from John W. Campbell Jr.'s "Islands of Space" and J. Schlossel's "Extra-Galactic Invaders", both from the Spring 1931 issue of Amazing Stories Quarterly.
Adam Buchbinder submitted a 1920 cite from an article in Science by Eliot Q. Adams, "A More Nearly Rational System of Units"

The OED has a 1967 cite from James Blish.

Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.