asteroid belt n.

the toroidal region of space around a star in which most asteroid orbits occur


  • 1867 J. Ennis Origin of Stars xxxiii. 292

    In view of the dimensions of the rings which formed the planets…, we cannot suppose that a single ring occupied all the space within the asteroid belt.

  • 1931 M. W. Wellman Disc-Men of Jupiter in Wonder Stories Sept. 533/2 page image Manly Wade Wellman bibliography

    If it’s so dangerous, why couldn’t we fly over the asteroid belt?

  • 1931 M. W. Wellman Disc-Men of Jupiter in Wonder Stories Sept. 534/1 page image Manly Wade Wellman bibliography

    The asteroid belt was many millions of miles across, but they hoped to encounter very few of the spinning particles at this time.

  • 1932 C. D. Simak Asteroid of Gold in Wonder Stories Nov. 515/1 page image Clifford D. Simak bibliography

    The two tiny slabs of rock, revolving about each other, made up a part of the asteroid belt, all that remained of a mythical planet between Mars and Jupiter (which must have disrupted into the thousands of tiny fragments many millions of years before).

  • 1950 R. Z. Gallun Step Farther Out in Super Science Stories Mar. page image Raymond Z. Gallun bibliography

    Beyond Mars, both newer and older, lies the asteroid belt—wreckage of a world that exploded, but that was peopled once, too. It is a wonderful, terrible region.

  • 1960 J. Blish …And All the Stars a Stage in Amazing Stories 128/1 page image James Blish bibliography

    None of these bodies are livable. Then comes the asteroid belt, followed by four small dense planets, two of which appear to be inhabitable.

  • 1978 R. Lovell Asteroid Mining in Galileo Sept. 13/1 page image Robert Lovell bibliography

    Astronomers have discovered that about 10% of the asteroids, including many of the larger ones near the inner part of the asteroid belt, are stony-iron types.

  • 1999 M. J. Friedman My Brother’s Keeper iii. ii. 19 Michael Jan Friedman bibliography

    The most remarkable thing we encountered was an asteroid belt.

  • 2001 Locus June 33/2

    Martin Humphries presents rival Dan Randolph a solution…that will also help Earth: build a fusion rocket so it is economically feasible to mine the Asteroid Belt for the energy the Earth needs.

Research requirements

antedating 1867

Research History
Mike Christie submitted a 1932 cite from Clifford Simak's "The Asteroid of Gold", based on a suggestion from Brian Ameringen.
Cory Panshin submitted a cite from a 1947 reprint of Manly Wade Wellman's "The Disc-Men of Jupiter"; Jeff Prucher verified the cite in the 1931 original magazine appearance.
Bill Mullins submitted a cite from a science news column "Mechanical and Physical Astronomy" in the journal "The Manufacturer and Builder" for March 1877.

Earliest cite in OED2: 1939; OED3 now shows an 1867 example.

Last modified 2021-01-08 11:51:41
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.