In these two questions in Space Exploration Stackexchange the origin and use of the word "sol" to describe a solar day on astronomical bodies besides the Earth are being discussed. Like so many things in space exploration, I'm wondering if this usage of the word "sol" as one solar day has precedence in SF writing.

For the purposes of my own curiousity I'd like to know about usage prior to the landing of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers (Jan 2004) for which broad coverage in popular news and the internet continued for years. However as @user14111 points out in a comment below, "sol" was already in documented use (in popular media) as the name of a Martian solar day in 1976 - in connection with (presumably) the Viking 1 lander. So from an etymological perspective this would be the more relevant date (unless/until we find an even earlier reference).

I'm also interested if other terms were used to describe a solar day (of any solar system body). I am not looking for a "word for day" in some alien language. I'm looking for something either used by the writer in narrative to the reader, or in dialogue where English Earth language is being spoken.

edit: I've changed "English language" to "Earth language". Space exploration is not "in English" and the previous remote-controled rovers on the moon "spoke" Russian and Chinese. Also, as was pointed out here, the word "sol" isn't English at all - it's Latin!

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    The nonfictional use of "sol" in this sense goes back at least to 1976. The OED has this citation from the Times of 22 July 1976: "The squat little lander seemed to get through its first sol (as the Martian day is called) without any problem." It seems to me that it would be interesting to find this usage of "sol" in science fiction before it was used in the Times, but not so interesting to see it used in sci-fi after that.
    – user14111
    Jan 27, 2016 at 7:37
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    For what it's worth, Science Fiction Citations does not seem to have sol (in this sense) among the several hundred terms it provides citations for. Jan 27, 2016 at 9:29
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    @JanuaryFirst-of-May Nope, and it's not in Jeff Prucher's Brave New Words either.
    – user14111
    Jan 27, 2016 at 10:13
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    To the close-voters: this question is asking about the use of the word "sol" in SF writing, so it is on-topic.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 27, 2016 at 11:52


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