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"Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way."
- Robert Heinlein

Gravity Detector  
  A device capable of detecting the gravitational field of a distant mass.  

As far as I know, this is the first use of this term. How could you be sure that an object was coming toward you in space if you could not see it and if it did not occult light sources?

Professor Paxton was glancing nervously from speed indicator to gravity detector, and from gravity detector to chronometer. Presently he turned a series of six big wheels one after another. Then he shifted a little, silvery lever .from a vertical to a horizontal position. I felt the whole craft suddenly rotate in an alarming fashion, but it was all over in an instant. The flat base of the rocket was now toward the moon instead of its pointed nose.
Technovelgy from The Lunar Chrysalis, by Raymond Z. Gallun.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Jack Williamson makes good use of this idea in his 1936 story The Cometeers:

"...there was nothing we could see with the tele-periscopes, but the gravity detectors betrayed an invisible object of fifty thousand tons, approaching behind us - as if it had followed us from Neptune."

The gravity detector turns out to be a useful device for ordinary journeys through the solar system as well (more from The Cometeers):

"An asteroid?" Jay Kalam inquired. "You're certain?"

"I am," Bob Star said, too busy to turn. "The gravity detector shows a mass dead ahead. Millions of tons. The deflector fields wouldn't swing it an inch.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Lunar Chrysalis
  More Ideas and Technology by Raymond Z. Gallun
  Tech news articles related to The Lunar Chrysalis
  Tech news articles related to works by Raymond Z. Gallun

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Science Fiction in the News

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'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

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'But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?'

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