earthshine n.

sunlight reflected from Earth (esp. as illuminating or visible on the surface of the Moon)


  • 1813 E. S. Barrett Heroine xvi page image Eaton Stannard Barrett bibliography

    And now day begins to decline; and your globe, which never sets to us, will soon shed her pale earthshine over the landscape. [...] Here, in our great pits, poetically called vallies, we retire from all moonly cares; or range through the meads of Cysatus of Gruemberget, and luxuriate in the coolness of the Conical Penumbra.

  • 1830 E. Walsh Are There More Inhabited Worlds Than Our Globe? in Amulet (vol. 5) 96 page image

    The lunarians, if such there be, of one lunar hemissphere (sic), enjoy a day and night, each a fortnight long, but never see the earth, whilst the natives of the other half bask in the earth-shine with similar, but opposite phases to those of the moon, but they never see the sun.

  • 1837 ‘Advena’ Hints from High Places—No. V. in Dublin University Magazine May 618/2 page image

    ‘Yes, yes; follow me, and I will explain to you by-and-by more of the mysteries of our lunar society. See! is not earth-shine a glorious light?’ and he pointed to the silver salver. ‘Glorious indeed!’ exclaimed I, as I turned my eyes upwards, holding my hands over them, to enable me to endure the excess of splendour; ‘you scarcely need a sun here.’

  • 1874 A. Blair Annals of the Twenty-Ninth Century, or, Autobiography of Tenth President of World Republic ii. iv. 79 page image Andrew Blair bibliography

    Intent to discover my lunar mansion, I mounted the same charger as yesterday, and with my troops I commenced the day’s march. [...] Thanks be to Heaven for earth-shine. Its genial radiance silverizes the scenery, and lights up with a smile the features of the landscape.

  • 1901 H. G. Wells First Men in Moon in Strand Magazine May xx. 506/1 page image H. G. Wells bibliography

    I had extinguished the light again lest it should fail me in the end; I was in darkness save for the earth shine and the glitter of the stars below me.

  • 1921 I. M. Lewis Popular Astronomy: Keeping Track of Moon in Science and Invention Jan. 1021 (caption) page image Isabel M. Lewis

    The faint illumination of the dark portion so frequently seen at the crescent phase is due to the fact that the earth as seen from the moon is now nearly ‘full’ and we see this ‘earth-shine’ reflected back to us from the lunar surface.

  • 1930 R. H. Romans Moon Conquerors in Science Wonder Quarterly Winter iv. 159/1 page image R. H. Romans bibliography

    I could actually see objects within the shadows which were formerly black as midnight. This was almost a direct contradiction to the findings of other observers. Was it ‘Earthshine’ that caused the shadows to soften? I decided that it was; the earth would now appear as but little more than ‘half-earth’ to an observer on the moon and it would be coming from my direction, like a searchlight, eight times as bright as moonlight.

  • 1936 D. D. Sharp Doomed by the Planetoid in Astounding Stories May vi. 75/1 page image D. D. Sharp bibliography

    He scanned Reinmuth again. Her metal peaks still cast long shadows, but now Earthshine brightened them. Form and outline were visible now on almost the whole surface, despite white sunshine on metal pinnacles and hills. In the Earthshine something moved far down in a canyon of the metal. It mounted swiftly as though in flight and alarm—half crouching like a great ape rather than a man.

  • 1942 M. J. Breuer Sheriff of Thorium Gulch in Amazing Stories Aug. 48/2 page image Miles J. Breuer, M.D. bibliography

    So, after a few hours of reading and solitaire, Joseph found himself getting off the vessel at the huge Platform at Copernicus, one of the Moon’s two largest cities. For a moment, he was overcome by emotion at being back again after an absence of four years. The thin, biting air was like an elixir; the inky-black shadows, the light feeling of his body, the magic of the earth-shine in the sky, surged all his happy childhood back for a sudden moment.

  • 1951 I. Asimov Tyrann in Galaxy Science Fiction Jan. iii. 22/1 page image Isaac Asimov bibliography

    The lights were out and the gallery was full. The faces peering over the bars were clear in the Earthshine. For Earth was suspended there below, a gigantic and gleaming orange-and-blue-and-white-patched balloon. The hemisphere showing was almost entirely sunlit; the continents between the clouds, a desert orange, with thin scattered lines of green. The seas were blue, standing out sharply against the black of space where they met the horizon. And all around in the black, undusted sky were the stars.

  • 1957 R. F. Jones Gardener in Science Fiction Stories July 105/1 page image Raymond F. Jones bibliography

    Could you give up watching the Earthshine from Mare Imbrium and exploring the ruins of the illfated [sic] Mars colony on the moon? Would you abandon those ancient vessels standing in the pumice of Mare Serenetatis in exchange for a backslap from Tom Marlow?

  • 1966 D. P. Buck Little Blue Weeds of Spring in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction June 51/1 page image Doris Pitkin Buck bibliography

    They saw the new star before she did, although she expected it. Briefly it shone golden in heaven, releasing itself from something vaster that was hardly to be made out in the bluish faintness of Earthshine.

  • 1971 L. Niven Inconstant Moon in All Myriad Ways (1985) iii. 136 page image Larry Niven bibliography

    A setting moon always looks tremendous. Tonight it glared at us through the gap of sky beneath the freeway, terribly bright, casting an incredible complexity of lines and shadows. Even the unlighted crescent glowed pearly bright with earthshine. Which told me all I wanted to know about what was happening on the lighted side of Earth. And on the moon? The men of Apollo Nineteen must have died in the first few minutes of nova sunlight.

  • 1978 G. Bear Wind from Burning Woman in Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact Oct. 26/1 page image Greg Bear bibliography

    The acceleration had been steady for two hours, but now the weightlessness was just as oppressive. The large cargo handler was fully loaded with extra fuel and a bulk William Porter was reluctant to think about. With the ship turned around for course correction, he could see the Moon glowing with Earthshine, and a bright crescent so thin it was almost a hair.

  • 1988 H. Rettig Through Alien Eyes in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction July 116 page image Hilary Rettig bibliography

    The view was breathtaking. The surface, lit by earthshine and enormous floodlights, stretched out like a grey, rocky reef all around us. Overhead, the earth itself, shining like a vast crescent gemstone, hung low in a velvet sky. Far off, its huge rim looking only a few centimeters high, was the crater Copernicus. For the past two years, KTrin had lived there, in a city filled with hypertrophs.

  • 1996 B. Aldrin & J. Barnes Encounter with Tiber vii. 124 page image John Barnes Buzz Aldrin bibliography

    Jiang’s protest died in his ears as Chris turned and headed back toward their lander. He didn’t listen for more, but kept moving in light, easy bounds, something like a kangaroo and a bit like a squirrel. Around him the lunar surface was a dim gray, lit only by starlight and by reflected Earthshine and sunlight from the bright distant peaks. He knew without looking that Peter would be right behind him, but he was pleased to see Xiao Be come up on his right; Jiang would have no choice but to follow.

  • 2002 G. Benford Clear Blue Seas of Luna in Year’s Best Science Fiction 20 (2003) 324 page image Gregory Benford bibliography

    Centuries ago, I wanted to go swimming in the clear blue seas of Luna, I remember. Tropical waters at the equator, under Earthshine... What joy it had been, to fertilize those early, still waters with minutely programmed bacteria, stir and season their primordial soup—and wait.

  • 2012 D. Brin Existence (2013) viii. 62 page image David Brin bibliography

    Gerald could not judge exactly where the object’s boundary gave way to the blackness of space. Glassy reflections rippled fields of starlight, or Earthshine from below, almost like a wavy liquid, creating a maze of shifting glitters that vexed human perception. Even image analysis produced an uncertain outline.

Research requirements

antedating 1813

Earliest cite

Eaton Stannard Barrett, ‘The Heroine; or, Adventures of a Fair Romance Reader’

Research History
Suggested, and most cites submitted, by Ben Ostrowsky.

Last modified 2022-01-05 22:17:04
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.