nightside n.

that part of an astronomical body facing away from the nearest star; cf. darkside n. 1, farside n.

  • 1914 J.R. Kippax Call of Stars 334

    The day side of the Moon is exposed to the Sun’s intense heat for a fortnight at a stretch, the temperature rising very high, probably reaching the boiling point, whilst through the long lunar night of a fortnight, the surface freezes in the icy cold, the temperature of the night side of the Moon falling very low, perhaps to 200 or 250 below zero.

  • 1935 S. G. Weinbaum Parasite Planet in Astounding Stories Feb. 54/1 page image Stanley G. Weinbaum bibliography

    He mused; his shack had been situated rather nearer the hot edge of the twilight zone; it was a trifle over two hundred and fifty miles to the shadow line, though of course that varied with the libration. But one couldn’t approach the line too closely, anyway, because of the fierce, almost inconceivable, storms that raged where the hot upper winds encountered the icy blasts of the night side, giving rise to the birth throes of the ice barrier.

  • 1935 A. M. Phillips Martian Gesture in Wonder Stories Oct. 624/1 page image A. M. Phillips bibliography

    Only to the astronomer, ic Dalfca, did the unbroken darkness of Earth’s night-side have a sad significance.

  • 1941 ‘S. D. Gottesman’ Return from M-15 in Cosmic Stories Mar. 63/1 page image C. M. Kornbluth bibliography

    They must have landed on the night[-]side of the artificial asteroid, for he could see the blazing corona of the sun eclipsed by the sphere on which he was standing.

  • 1955 E. F. Russell Waitabits in Astounding Science Fiction July 73/1 Eric Frank Russell

    The Thunderer went up, came down four hundred miles within the night-side. The tactic, decided Leigh, represented a right smart piece of figuring. Aroused aliens on the day-side would now require about twelve days to reach them.

  • 1986 A. C. Clarke Songs of Distant Earth 34 Arthur C. Clarke

    We saw the lights of their cities—towns, at least—as soon as we had a good view of the nightside.

  • 1988 A. C. Clarke 2061: Odyssey Three 53 Arthur C. Clarke

    Coming in from the nightside—heading straight for Mount Zeus.

  • 1989 D. Dvorkin & D. Dvorkin Star Trek: Next Generation: Captains’ Honor i. 19 David Dvorkin Daniel Dvorkin bibliography

    City lights glittering on the nightside and winking out as daylight raced across the planetary surface.

  • 1993 D. Beason & K. J. Anderson Assemblers of Infinity ii.23 Kevin J. Anderson Doug Beason bibliography

    New windows opened to display telemetry, a CAD animation showing the attitude of the hopper and a rotating globe of the Moon displaying trajectories with a targeting cross over Daedalus Crater on the nightside.

  • 2008 ‘J. Stoddard’ Far Horizon in Interzone (#214) Feb. 20/2 page image Jason Stoddard bibliography

    Dayside showed grasslands and deep-green forests, punctuated by bright blue lakes. Nightside showed frozen lakes and dead gray forest.

Research requirements

antedating 1914

Earliest cite

John R. Kippax, 'The Call of the Stars'

Research History
Fred Galvin submitted a cite for "night-side" from a 1964 reprint of Eric Frank Russell's 1955 story "The Waitabits".
Fred Galvin submitted a cite for "night side" from a 1949 reprint of Stanley G. Weinbaum's "Parasite Planet"; Jesse Sheidlower verified this in its original publication (Astounding Stories, February 1935): this source also used "night-side" as an adjective
Fred Galvin submitted an October 1935 cite from Alexander M. Phillips' "Martian Gesture"
Fred Galvin submitted a 1914 cite for "night side" from John R. Kippax's "The Call of the Stars".

Last modified 2023-11-11 14:23:58
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.