Because during the day it's called the "sky", at night the sky isn't there anymore and all you can see is the stars and space, but the thing is the sky is still there. And the "night sky"... that's two words. What's one word? I've never heard of it.

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    It’s still the sky. – Jim Apr 21 '17 at 3:45

Since Middle English borrowed an old Norse word for cloud, it's just been


The atmosphere and outer space as seen from the earth; the place in which clouds, stars, and the sun and moon appear, esp. as regarded as a great canopy or vault

If that's confusing to you, just think to yourself "Where's the moon?" "It's in the ____." It should come pretty naturally to say "sky" even though when you think about the sky you usually picture the daytime version.

If you want to be poetic about it, you can call them the heavens. If you wanted to be poetic and Scottish, there's the lift, although that's going to be followed by incomprehension.

If you want to be misinformed about it, you call it the firmament, based on a Latin translation of a Greek translation of a Syriac misunderstanding of a Hebrew word for expanse. The image is of a great firm ceiling above or around the Earth, beyond which lies the empyreal realm of elemental fire.

  • Scot's 'lift' doesn't seem to be particular tot he night sky. dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/lift_n1 I've always associated it with religious connotations, but that might be because I primarily know it from MacDiarmid's Crowdieknowe arts.gla.ac.uk/STELLA/STARN/crit/NORTHERN/20thpoet.htm 'God an' a' his gang o' angels i' the lift'. S'funny, I was thinking about that poem on my way into work earlier for some reason. I was pondering the origin of 'fegs'. – Spagirl Apr 21 '17 at 11:39
  • @Spagirl It isn't particular to the night sky. It's the old Germanic word for 'sky' in general, before we borrowed 'sky' from Norse for some reason. – lly Apr 21 '17 at 20:57

You could possibly use the word twilight to refer to the night sky.


Hazel could barely see him in the dim light of twilight.

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    Twilight describes a the light in the sky just after the sun sets and before it rises or b the time of day when this light is around; it neither describes the dark night nor the sky. – lly Apr 21 '17 at 3:50
  • Just saying that the context of when you wish to refer to the night sky will determine your alternate usage of words. I don't believe there is a specific word for 'night sky' that can be used, but rather various descriptions of the time of night such as dusk or twilight to be used in a clever way to strengthen your ideas. – Alex Loranger Apr 21 '17 at 4:10
  • It does refer to the time of night, but not the space up above the trees in your field of vision. – lly Apr 21 '17 at 5:17
  • Would the edited answer work? – Alex Loranger Mar 7 at 2:02

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