star system n.

a planetary system; = solar system n.

In early use, in bracketed quotations: a body of stars bound together by gravitational attraction.

  • [1833 Religious Intelligencer 7 Dec. 441/1

    Owing to the precision [sic] of the Equinox, and the motion of the whole Star System round some distant and unknown center, the Earth, is constantly making a new path, through absolute space.]

  • [1860 Mechanic’s Magazine 6 July 2/1

    The nearest fixed star of our star system whose distance has been measured, is the brightest in the constellation Centaur.]

  • [ 1914 J. R. Kippax Call of Stars 15

    White and bluish-white stars, such as Sirius, Rigel, Spica, and Vega, are young in the order of evolution, and are at full glow. In the course of time, as they reach their hottest stage, they turn golden-yellow like Capella, Pollux, and the sun, and again as they get older, become ruddy or red, and are often variable, as in the cases of Betelgeux, Aldebaran, and Antares. Finally, as the ages pass, their light dies away, and they become dark, opaque bodies—extinct and dead suns rushing unseen on their unlit ways. It has been roughly estimated that the extinct stars or suns outnumber the lucent ones, one hundred to one. Verily, the universe is one vast cemetery of dead suns and systems of worlds. The process of creation or of evolution of matter is, however, continuously going on, suns and star systems are ever being evolved, and as Flammarion puts it, ‘in space there are both cradles and tombs.’ ]

  • [1928 A. S. Eddington Nature Physical World viii. 167

    The first partitions [of the gaseous nebulae] are the star-systems such as our galactic system.]

  • 1929 E. Hamilton Within the Nebula in Weird Tales May 599/1 page image Edmond Hamilton bibliography

    He was of the race of Canopus, natives of this giant star-system.

  • 1932 J. W. Campbell Invaders from Infinite in Amazing Stories Quarterly Spring 168/1 John W. Campbell, Jr.

    For the ship represents a thing of enormous value to our world. And, we think, to this entire star-system.

  • 1942 A. E. van Vogt Asylum in Astounding Science-Fiction May 9/2 A. E. van Vogt

    This star system contains one inhabited planet, the third from the Sun, called Earth by its inhabitants.

  • 1944 A. E. van Vogt Far Centaurus in Astounding Science Fiction Jan. 70/1 A. E. van Vogt

    In fifty-four years we had covered approximately one tenth of the four and one third light years to the famous nearest star system.

  • 1945 A. E. van Vogt World of Null-A in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 88/2 A. E. van Vogt

    No one, least of all league agents, turned down the invitations of the reigning big shots of an Empire of sixty thousand star systems, especially when one’s purpose required considerable tact.

  • 1946 G. O. Smith Pattern for Conquest in Astounding Science Fiction Mar. 27/1 George O. Smith

    Then Hotang Lu sketched a crude diagram of the catmen’s star-system.

  • 1960 Astounding Science Fiction Apr. 103/1

    Following my orders, the navigator again constructed a sphere of speculation in his tank. The surface of the sphere contacted all the star systems a day’s flight ahead of the maximum flight of the stolen battleship.

  • 1969 A. McCaffrey Partnered Ship in Ship Who Sang (1970) 232 Anne McCaffrey

    Despite every shortcoming, Central Worlds at least worked for the good of the total Federation, not for the aggrandizement of one isolated star system, or a mercenary monopoly.

  • 1977 G. Zebrowski Ashes & Stars 115 George Zebrowski

    From the scattered Herculeans still alive on more than a dozen star systems, besides those on Myraa’s World, I've learned that the Whisper Ship is probably manned by an officer named Gorgias and his son of the same name.

  • 1983 M. McCollum Life Probe xvi. 244 Michael McCollum

    Whenever a life probe entered a star system, it usually brought radical changes with it.

  • 1993 D. Weber On Basilisk Station (1997) 104 David Weber

    Under the terms of the Act of Annexation the Kingdom claimed the star system as a whole and established a protectorate over the Medusans but specifically renounced sovereignty over their planet. In effect, this entire planet is one huge reservation for the natives, with the exception of specific sites designated for off-worlder enclaves.

  • 1996 D. Weber Honor Among Enemies (1997) 222 David Weber

    I'd handed them over to the local governor and he'd assured me they'd be dealt with; eleven months later, they had a new ship and I caught them looting an Andy freighter in the very same star system.

  • 2004 L. Evans & J. Ringo Road to Damascus ii. 24 Linda Evans John Ringo bibliography

    It takes a desperate captain and crew to try crossing the Silurian Void, especially in some of the ships we’ve had limping through our star system.

  • 2019 Y. H. Lee Dragon Pearl i. 7 Yoon Ha Lee bibliography

    There weren’t literally a thousand planets in the league, but it encompassed many star systems, all answering to the same government.

Research requirements

antedating 1833

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1945 cite from A.E. van Vogt's "World of Null-A".
Mike Christie submitted a 1946 cite from George O. Smith's "Pattern For Conquest".
Michael Dolbear submitted a cite from a 1997 reprint of David Weber's 1996 "Honor Among Enemies".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1997 reprint of David Weber's 1993 "On Basilisk Station".
Mike Christie submitted a 1944 cite from A.E. van Vogt's "Far Centaurus".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a reprint of Harry Harrison's "The Stainless Steel Rat"; Mike Christie verified the cite in the 1960 first magazine appearance.
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1970 reprint of Anne McCaffrey's 1969 "The Partnered Ship".
Douglas Winston submitted a cite from a 1990 reprint of Michael McCollum's "Life Probe".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1957 reprint of A.E. van Vogt's "Asylum"; Mike Christie verified this in its 1942 first publication.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1914 cite from John R. Kippax's "The Call of the Stars", though this may have been referring to e.g. galaxies rather than solar systems.
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a 1957 reprint of Henry Hasse's "He Who Shrank"
Fred Galvin submitted a cite from a ca. 1965 reprint of Edmond Hamilton's "Within the Nebula"; Jesse Sheidlower verified it in its first publication (Weird Tales, May, 1929)
Fred Galvin submitted a 1932 cite from John W. Campbell Jr.'s "Invaders From the Infinite".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2004 cite from Linda Evans and John Ringo.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2019 cite from Yoon Ha Lee.

Last modified 2021-03-31 15:17:54
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.