Questions tagged [time-keeping]

For questions about systems used to distribute time into certain periods adapted to the purposes of common life, as hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc.

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42
votes
16answers
9k views

How do you tell time on a world with 9-year days?

On my world, the day lasts 9 years: 4.5 years of light, followed by 4.5 years of dark. The inhabitants of this world survive by migrating along the ring of dusk and dawn. How do these people tell ...
42
votes
19answers
9k views

Standardisation of Time in a FTL Universe

Here on Earth, time standardisation was enabled by the invention of accurate time pieces which allowed us to create a global constant (GMT/Zulu time) and regional offsets. If we travel outside our ...
41
votes
6answers
2k views

What are some things to keep in mind when designing a calendar?

There are many different calendar systems on earth. Of course, since a fictional world very well may differ greatly from Earth, it makes sense for them to have their own calendar. What are various ...
39
votes
11answers
5k views

A world without natural time measures

An intelligent race evolves on a planet with no moon or axial tilt, which is tidally locked to its star, and has a very hazy atmosphere. So there are no seasons, no day/night cycle, and the stars are ...
37
votes
20answers
8k views

How would people tell time if it was always day?

So, if I have a civilization that lives in a hollow planet, with a sun in the middle. How would they tell time? The sun always shines, and it is a Constant Spring/summertime weather. They have animals ...
33
votes
11answers
5k views

What's an astronomical event which happened about 10,000 years ago, which humans could have noticed?

Bob is older than he looks. Specifically, even though Bob looks like he's in his twenties or thirties (it's hard to tell), he was actually born in Europe about ten thousand years ago, long before the ...
30
votes
11answers
5k views

Creating a realistic timekeeping system for a fantasy world

When reading fantasy novels, I have as a rule been left with the impression that exact timekeeping is either avoided as a topic, or referred to only vaguely and obliquely. In many cases, the author ...
24
votes
5answers
4k views

What do Martians use for months and weeks?

Assume Mars has developed an indigenous civilization of its own, perhaps as seen in Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars. Much like Earth, Mars' years and days would be significant for any ...
24
votes
7answers
2k views

On a planet without seasons, how would people track years?

On a planet without axial tilt and with a roughly circular orbit, there would be no seasons. The climate on the planet would be, as far as I can tell, exactly the same at any time of year, and the ...
23
votes
9answers
2k views

If clock and calendar was reinvented with today's knowledge, what could they look like?

Our notion of recording and communicating time and date is based on very old concepts, many of them being built upon flawed assumptions (that the Sun should be at exact south at noon, that a year ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I create original holidays for my world?

How can I create holidays/traditions for my fictional world? I want these holidays to be believable and original, not just something inspired by a holiday we have here. An obvious course of action ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

How would rogue planet civilization track the passage of time?

If a species were to evolve on a rogue planet, how would they track the passage of time? Without day/night cycles or revolutions around a star, they couldn't use the typical methods that civilizations ...
17
votes
15answers
5k views

How to tell someone they have travelled in time, by gesturing?

Two strangers, Alice and Daisuke, are from two different cultures and speak different languages. Oh, and they are from two different times! Alice, was unwillingly, unknowingly and unexpectedly ...
17
votes
10answers
5k views

What would a Martian calendar look like?

On Earth, the mostly used calendar is the Gregorian calendar. This calendar has many issues though, just to list some: It is not perennial. Each year starts on a different day of the week and ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How do date/time systems work for an entire solar system?

The species doesn't originate from the solar system, nor do they occupy a single planet or even have any colonies on the planets. They travel around in space ships throughout the solar system Do they ...
17
votes
4answers
900 views

Stealing day(s) from my post-apoc bunker society

In a post-apoc world there are societies of people that live their entire lives in huge underground bunkers. They live there, as did their parents, as did their parents, and so forth. Their only ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

How can a floral clock be made accurate enough to replace normal timekeeping?

A village is famous for its flowers and wants to bring in tourism by replacing its timekeeping and basing everything around a flower clock. Schools and shops all agree to set their times by the flower ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

What calendar would the Saturn nation use?

In my next novel, there are three major powers in the solar system: Earth, Mars, and Saturn. Earth runs on a slightly modified Gregorian calendar, Mars goes with the good old Darian calendar, and ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Gregorian Calendar and dates before its implementation - how to correctly place an event before 1582? [closed]

For dialogues occurring in the story the characters would use their respective culture/civilization calendar, but for the one writing the story a way to use a familiar calendar to place an event is ...
14
votes
7answers
9k views

How would timezones work on a planet 100 times the size of our Earth

I thought the answer would be simple and maybe it is, but it's just rattling my brain. If there was a planet 100 times the circumference of Earth, assuming everything is similar to Earth, 1 day (1 ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

What would the current period of history be called in the future? [closed]

In my SciFi book, 400 years from now, humanity has expanded throughout the solar system and managed to survive the death Earth. In their history, Earth fell during the third world war in 2093 CE and ...
12
votes
5answers
800 views

Acceptable time count

Supposedly we human are able to terraformed Mars decades from now, then in few hundred years able to enhance our genes to be more adaptable to live on harsh conditions, creating space colonies and ...
12
votes
1answer
881 views

How to calculate hour angle of a moon?

I am trying to construct a standing stone calendar for my world Jasmi, located at latitude 53.8 degrees South. To do this, I need the hour angle of moonrise and moonset for my world. The problem is ...
10
votes
5answers
602 views

What calendar or time cycle would an underground civilization use? [duplicate]

The majority of the calendars on earth have used either lunar or solar cycles to keep track of time, ie days, months, years. What would a civilization cut off from the sun or moon use to keep track ...
10
votes
5answers
430 views

How would dwarves tell time (calendar)

Information I am developing the culture of the dwarves in my fantasy world, and I am interested in a calendar system for my dwarves. Yes, I am aware of the question How would my dwarves tell time ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

Explanations for a Uniform calendar in most of the world

I have a very fragmented world, composed of different kingdoms/nations most of which have no connections with the others. How can I explain the adoption of the same calendar (or metric system for that ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

What would a Christian calendar look like?

After the adoption of Christianity as the one official religion in late Ancient Rome, the new role of pope inherited some duties of previous leaders, among them he’s responsible for the calendar. The ...
9
votes
2answers
395 views

Galactic Calendar System

In a galactic civilization with multiple races, what would be an ideal calendar system that everyone could use? FTL travel is possible (please no answers involving the implications of FTL, for the ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

An alien race without the concept of “time”

In my narrative I have these aliens that don't experience time, they don't remember and don't predict events, which makes them completely reactionary. This is supposed to make them alien and difficult ...
8
votes
1answer
606 views

Year marking astronomical event with extreme perihelion precession

For us earthlings, the concept of "year" came from the observation that the Sun reaches a minimum and a maximum span in the rise-set path in the sky. On a planet experiencing extreme perihelion ...
8
votes
1answer
288 views

How do calendar systems arise? How would this affect a civilization's time-keeping if originating on the moon of a gas giant? [closed]

So I understand how gas giants and their many, many moons operate, and I can make educated guesses about how Earth-sized satellites could orbit a large gas giant, as well as how gas giants can be in ...
7
votes
3answers
303 views

Restoring the current date based on ~100yr old sources

Imagine that humanity find out that their current date allegedly representing years A.D. is several years off. The only unquestionable timestamped data on the physical state of the Universe (...
7
votes
3answers
489 views

What's the overlapping calendar of two different lunar cycles

In My world of PD there are two distinct moons, Aurie is a big cream colored moon on a 32 day cycle and Chi is a smaller rust- colored moon on a 20 day cycle. Can somebody help me figure out how often ...
7
votes
4answers
208 views

What would it take to make a scientific second equal exactly one traditional second?

A scientist is resetting the clock on his microwave one day as he considers the hopelessness of keeping the time exactly right. Not for the reasons we worry about like power outages and daylight ...
7
votes
3answers
907 views

How would a Lunar Calendar be set up with 2 moons?

So I have a super-Earth that has 2 moons. Moon 1 is a bit smaller than our moon, and has an orbital period of 19.25 earth days. Moon 2 is larger than our moon and has an orbital period of 147.15 days. ...
7
votes
5answers
194 views

Different ways geographically distant cultures might measure time?

Okay so in my world, I have two pre-industrial societies that live thousands of miles apart from each other on their ringworld. One lives in a desert climate similar to India or the Middle East while ...
7
votes
2answers
148 views

Reconciling Polar Calendars

This is a calendar question, for the Fortnightly Topic. Background On planet Polarworld, a future alternate Earth, the ambient temperatures are so intense that the only habitable areas are at the ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

How would my dwarves tell time underground?

How could they keep track of the "Surface World Time?" Parameters: Very little contact with the surface world Phobia of "just go and check" It is needed to know when traders will descend They don't ...
6
votes
2answers
121 views

How to distinguish the different phases of the day when the sun rises and sets multiple times?

Obviously there would be a lot of small (not to mention a couple large) changes humans would need to get used to on a planet that rotates much faster than Earth. The biggest one I’m concerned about ...
6
votes
3answers
197 views

How far can civilization go without inventing the calendar?

While only counting seasons and years, but not weeks or months, how far can human civilization progress? Can they reach the middle ages? Or is the invention of the calendar such a cornerstone of ...
6
votes
2answers
422 views

My BIG World Needs More Suns

Summary version: So we're talking people living on top of 30 miles of topsoil, fake dino fossils and water on the outer surface on a hollow (but sturdy) unobtanium sphere with a radius about 1 AU. ...
5
votes
5answers
674 views

A Roman-technology clock run by slaves - how to make it accurate

In a land similar to the Roman Empire, slaves are used to drive machinery. Mostly this is a matter of getting them to pull carts or wind handles. The Emperor wants a clock that is accurate to the ...
5
votes
7answers
264 views

Universal calendar creation for intergalactic empire [duplicate]

In my novel, I have created an intergalactic empire that predates humanity by millions of years. The only system I am having a difficult time creating, for this empire, is a Calendar system that ...
5
votes
3answers
450 views

The perception of time in a tidally-locked planet [duplicate]

Early civilizations have noticed the passage of time through heavenly bodies periodically crossing the sky. With this information, they adapted according to the seasons- especially in agriculture. ...
5
votes
1answer
501 views

Timekeeping Systems on a Habitable Moon

Ok, this is take two. Hopefully this is specific enough. I have a link to the original question here. And for those of you eager to see my sources for this, I'll link two videos here from the ...
5
votes
1answer
384 views

How do I calculate solar altitude and hour angle from the surface of another planet?

I'm trying to calculate the solar declination at the solstices, solar altitude at solar noon, and hour angles at sunrise and sunset to build a standing stone calendar at latitude 53.8 degrees South. ...
4
votes
4answers
608 views

How would you make a universal measurement of time?

I was wondering if you could possibly make a form of time measurement that would apply to a planet in a galaxy and then another planet that is ~20,000 light years away. I want a unit of time that, for ...
4
votes
5answers
387 views

How do merpeople track time undersea?

Suppose in the early stage of the merpeople civilization, languages are at its infancy and they have just started agriculture. We all know that calender and clock are very important for early farmers ...
4
votes
4answers
634 views

Can a species without uniform brain function time survive?

The magical species Zartika living on planet NB-8723D has organisms whose brains function at different speeds. All have almost the same physical body, but there lies some difference in their brains. ...
4
votes
4answers
896 views

What would a lunar calendar look like?

First see this great answer on considerations when making a calendar. Consider a human colony on our own moon. Let's assume that the colony is influenced by the Gregorian calendar. Let's suppose the ...