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I am making a measurement system for my Kepler Bb people (this is for a different story than the alien naming).

I got time and distance down. But other measurements are needed if this is to be a true measurement system.

Time:

  • 1 second

  • 1 minute = 80 seconds

  • 1 hour = 80 minutes

  • 1 day = 30 hours

  • 1 week = 9 days

  • 1 moon = 3 weeks

  • 1 month = 65-67 days(7 weeks)

  • 1 year = 20 months = 1313 days

  • 1 pentad = 5 years

  • 1 decade = 10 years

  • 1 pentade = 50 years

  • 1 century = 100 years

  • 1 pentury = 500 years

  • 1 millennium = 1000 years  

Distance:

  • 1 inch

  • 1 foot = 10 inches (happens to be my heel to toe foot length)

  • 1 yard = 4 feet

  • 1 mile = 3000 yards

  • 1 decamile = 10 miles

  • 1 kilomile = 1000 miles

Now for time I used (1+1/3)*earth unit for quite a few small units. For length I made the inch the same, took my foot length as a foot and made the other measurements based off of that but without the same conversion factors.

  But like I said before I need at least these 3 measurements to be different from ours (metric and imperial both):

Capacity(dry and liquid), Weight and Temperature

Now for time I used (1+1/3)*earth unit for quite a few small units. For length I made the inch the same, took my foot length as a foot and made the other measurements based off of that but without the same conversion factors.

But I am not sure how to approach Capacity, Weight, or Temperature, especially Temperature. I could simply have them use degrees Rankine where 0 degrees Rankine = -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit(In fact degrees Rankine is a Fahrenheit based absolute temperature scale) but 80 degrees Fahrenheit is 539.67 degrees Rankine and using such a high number for a such a low temperature doesn't make sense, especially not in non-scientific use.

But I don't want to use Celsius for 2 reasons:

  1. Celsius doesn't make sense for an imperial based measurement system

and

  1. I don't use Celsius unless I have to. If anything, I will measure in Fahrenheit and then convert to Celsius if I want the Celsius equivalent.  

So how should I approach those other 3 measures, especially temperature? I just looked up temperature scales and there is the Romer scale, the Newton scale(not the same Newton as the one used for force), the Delisle scale which makes even less sense(higher temperatures are negative on the Delisle scale), and the Reaumur scale and a few others.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Mołot, John Dallman, James, Frostfyre, kingledion Nov 23 '16 at 19:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ How? However you want. No big trick to it. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Nov 23 '16 at 14:15
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    $\begingroup$ Is their number system in base 10? $\endgroup$ – Tim B Nov 23 '16 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, they have the same number of hands and fingers as we do so why wouldn't it be base 10? But I am not asking about number systems here, rather measurement systems. Those 2 are different systems. $\endgroup$ – Caters Nov 23 '16 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ No. Those are really, really closely tied to each other. Ten fingers. Ten times ten degrees between ice and boil. Things like that. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Nov 23 '16 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ The imperial system is in base 10 and it is nowhere near metric. A base 8 system would mean 1 kepler foot = 12 inches(base 8). So they really are different systems $\endgroup$ – Caters Nov 23 '16 at 19:37
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The question you've got to be asking yourself is: why would Kepler Bb use these measurments?

Do they have an 80 hour day because you just want different for different's sake? Or is it because 80 happens to divide their day really well, and as a culture they think in terms of 8's or 20's the same way we can think in terms of 10's (if they're aliens, maybe they have 8 fingers on each hand)? If it's different for different's sake, then it doesn't matter. Pick whatever you like.

Or, instead of starting with an existing scale for mass or temperature, figure out how Kepler would create their scale, and work backwards. Our existing measurements didn't just rise out of nowhere. They've all got long histories before they became standardized.

Maybe Kepler's winemakers use a certain size of jug, and this size becomes their de facto unit of volume. And this barrel just happens to be close to 1.5 gallons

Maybe they still base their temperature scale on the phases of water (like Celsius), or they use some other naturally occurring phenomenon. Maybe 80 degrees in Kepler is the boiling point of water (because they like 80), but that point is closer to 105 degrees Celsius, because Kepler happens to have a thicker atmosphere. These are just examples, of course; I don't know anything about the specifics of your planet or culture.

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I think you should use the Kelvin scale: while many other scales could be altered in different envroinment (Celsius is based on the temperature of freezing and boiling water, ant those temperature changes when different pressure is applied), the kelvin scale is absolute, cause 0 K is the state in which every atom of your body is completely still, and that doesn't change in the universe.

80° Fahrenheit are approximately 300 Kelvin.

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    $\begingroup$ A sidenote, degree Kelvin is deprecated. Correct usage is 300 K. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Nov 23 '16 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ Using Kelvin has exactly the same problem as using Rankine. In the words of the OP: "80 degrees Fahrenheit is 539.67 degrees Rankine and using such a high number for a such a low temperature doesn't make sense, especially not in non-scientific use." An absolute temperature scale is fine for specialized situations, but not that convenient for everyday purposes involving temperatures that are comfortable to us. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Nov 23 '16 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling then we could imagine a Celsius scale based on the atmospheric pressure of the planet, so that 0°C will still be the temperature where water(ore some kind of similar substance) freeze, and 100°C when it boils $\endgroup$ – JackIta Nov 23 '16 at 15:33

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